Facebook group links up to try to build new community between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv

Almost 500 people are now members of the group. Some have recently met with a contractor, builder and lawyer to advance the joint-housing effort.

facebook 88 (photo credit:)
facebook 88
(photo credit: )
Frustrated by rising housing costs and the lack of a network to discuss housing options, a large group of Anglos has built a Facebook group in hopes of building a community together somewhere between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Hillel Fuld, who made aliya from New York 15 years ago, created the group last month and called it "Young Couples without Millions, Looking for a Nice Community in Israel." Within an hour, Fuld said that 50 people had joined. The group features discussion posts about possible locations, as well as a virtual "wall" for comments. Almost 500 people are now members of the group. Some have recently met with a contractor, builder and lawyer to advance the joint-housing effort. "[People] want a community that they feel is missing in parts of Israel," Fuld said, adding that the consensus was to establish a diverse mix of residents. The group has been searching for an affordable location within easy commuting distance of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Fuld says places like Elkana and Rehovot are possibilities. "In the past two years, [housing prices] went up mainly because of the foreigners that came to buy in Israel, especially in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and places along the shore," said Gadi Avissar, owner of the Kikar HaMedina branch of Remax in Tel Aviv. "Owners are always trying to adjust the dollar to the shekel. The prices change in dollars, but in shekels, it remains the same." Many Anglos in the group are used to living in single-family homes, according to Fuld, and are upset about paying so much for small housing units. "My only worry is kablanim [contractors] hear Anglos and then the phrase 'without millions' doesn't sink in, so they overcharge," one member wrote on the virtual wall. "We were all very frustrated and we feel like we were always missing the boat," said Fuld. "Now, we don't want to miss the next boat, we want to define the next boat."