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Someone I know is considering aliyah. He is a young religious single in his mid-20's who is looking for a young, religious, but not Hareidi community in one of the "larger" cities that has a sizable "American" community. One of his main incentives is to increase his religious learning and to become a rav either in a yeshiva or a shul. He wants a neighborhood that will support these objectives and maximize his potential in Torah learning and leadership.

He is aware of two places in Israel where these exist - a few areas in Yerushala'im and Ramat Bet Shemesh.

Is there a book, pamphlet, or on-line resource that describes demographics in various Israeli areas an, perhaps describes in some fashion what areas would be ideal for accommodating such goals? If it also lists statistics such as median income, types of occupations and housing costs, etc., that would be a bonus.

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    Is this on topic? – Double AA May 1 '16 at 19:02
  • @DoubleAA I feel like it could be, with some tweaking. – Scimonster May 1 '16 at 19:23
  • @Scimonster But no close vote in the meantime? – Double AA May 1 '16 at 20:31
  • @DoubleAA I'm on the fence about it as-is and don't want to take action yet. Some tweaking could push it to the "definitely" side. – Scimonster May 1 '16 at 20:32
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    What kind of neighborhood supports someone trying "to increase his religious learning and to become a rav either in a yeshiva or a shul"? (I'm not joking. I don't know what that means. A community with a good library? Lots of (free?) classes?) As is now this seems either unclear or primarliy opinion based as everyone's educational needs are different. – Double AA May 2 '16 at 3:15
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I have found Nefesh b' Nefesh's community database to be an excellent resource for this sort of information.

Jerusalem is of course a fantastic place in Israel for Torah learning because of the quantity of diversity of opportunities to learn. Ramat Beth Shemesh is more of a city where people live and has less yeshivot and learning places for adults.

Two cities worth looking at in addition to the above are

  • Givat Shmuel (near Tel Aviv) - its geographical proximity to Bnei Brak will make it an amazing place to learn Torah
  • Modiin - although it is quite similar to Ramat Beth Shemesh learning-wise

What surprised me most after making alyah was the quality and quantity of Torah learning opportunities in most cities in Israel. I live in Raanana, a mixed religious town of 70,000 people, with 20-30% religious people, and the city has 70+ synagogues, multiple kollelim, dozens of shiurim (Torah classes) every night. Even the local synagogue classes are given by talmidei chachamim of a calibre that many rabbanim didn't have in the communities I lived in when in the US, France or Switzerland.

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