Modi'in: Attracting Anglos midway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv
City eager to attract more "Anglo" immigrants and young couples in particular, Mayor Haim Bibas says.
By JOHN BENZAQUEN
Modi'in is fast becoming a preferred location for immigrants from English-speaking countries. The main reason for its popularity is its location midway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and its excellent transportation links with all parts of the country.
Modern Modi'in, founded in 1994, is a prosperous town, with the Central Statistics Bureau giving it a socioeconomic rating of eight out of 10.
It roots go far back, to biblical times. On the outskirts of today's Modi'in are the archeological remains of its ancient counterpart, a settlement built during the Maccabean era that was destroyed by the Romans during the time of the Jewish revolt.
The present Modi'in is located on a hilly region overlooking the Ela Plain, where according to the Bible, David slew Goliath.
"Modi'in is a fast-growing city," Mayor Haim Bibas told The Jerusalem Post. "It now has a population of approximately 75,000, compared to 40,000 five years ago, of whom more than 3,000 are new immigrants from English-speaking countries. The municipality organizes all sorts of cultural events in English to make them feel at home and to help them integrate in their new country."
The city was eager to attract more "Anglo" immigrants and young couples in particular, Bibas said.
Anthony Galgut, manager of Tailor Made Real Estate Solutions, a Modi'in real-estate brokerage, believes that most Anglo immigrants were attracted to the city because of the relatively low housing prices.
"It is true that the city is centrally situated and connected by a network of roads and by the railway to the employment and entertainment centers of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, but price is also an important consideration," he said. "That's the main reason why recent immigrants from English-speaking countries prefer Modi'in to Ra'anana, although the latter is still much in demand by Anglos.
"The location of Modi'in is better than that of Ra'anana, but more importantly so are the prices. In Ra'anana real estate is approximately 25 percent more expensive than in Modi'in," Galgut said.
Builders operating in Modi'in are also keen about promoting sales to new immigrants.
"Our marketing department believes that in the next few years hundreds of families of new immigrants will settle in Modi'in," said Ze'ev Milner, general manager of the Zilbermintz and Son Development Company, which is heavily involved in residential projects.
"We participate in real-estate fairs organized for prospective newcomers in North America and Europe," he said. "During 2008, a third of our total sales were to new immigrants from English-speaking countries, Latin America and Europe."
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