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Go where??? Three possibilities, and two NOT.

Second one-on-one meeting today with Nefesh b’Nefesh… this time for a “Go North” program planning session.

We are not completely sold on the north, but it’s worth keeping our options open – there are a few extra financial incentives, though, as a friend pointed out, the incentives are somewhat cancelled out by the extra cost of living in the middle of nowhere.

The NOT communities first…

After talking to her for a while about who we are and what we’re looking for, she confirmed the previous advice we’d had ruling out Mitzpeh Netofa.  Drat, but I was prepared for this.  She also – interestingly – ruled out Yavniel, although a couple of Toronto families we know (of) have made quite a nice home for themselves there.

The three places she suggested are interesting because only one of them was on my radar at all:  Nahariyah / נַהֲרִיָּה‎‎, Maalot / מַעֲלוֹת, and Karmiel / כַּרְמִיאֵל‎‎.

Not much time to process right now – I want to do here is a separate post listing some of the things that came up as our “criteria” for finding a home.  But meanwhile, here is the most superficial possible comparison of these three cities, on the basis of cost of living, climate, and fun facts!








Mediterranean (coastal)

Valley/Low mountain

dry, breezy and comfortable

Cost of living







44,100 / 50,000 official
(depends who you ask!)





Jewy Types

Chabad, Chardal, Conservative, Dati Leumi, Haredi, Reform, Secular

Chardal, Dati Leumi, Haredi, Secular

Chabad, Chardal, Conservative, Dati Leumi, Haredi, Reform, Secular

Funtime Wiki facts

Notable residents include Gilad Shalit. (source)

In the early 2000s, 52% of the population were Russian immigrants. (source)

According to the national master plan, by 2020 Karmiel will have a population of approximately 120,000 residents. (source)

Today’s Temperature

24°, cloudy (link)

23°, partly sunny (link)

27°, sunny (link)

Today’s Humidity




For reference, today’s temp and humidity in Toronto: 27°, cloudy, humidity 57%.  So more or less equivalent to Karmiel.

I will also say – because I’m chicken, and moving with children, and so forth:  both Ma’alot and Nahariya are closer to Lebanon than I am entirely comfortable with.  I know nowhere is completely safe, but both of these towns – indeed, all three – were targeted and sustained damage and casualties six years ago.

Much to think about.


  1. Karmiel weather being more or less equivalent to Toronto? You're not serious, are you? There might be a couple of days in the year that that's true, but the reported temperatures are in the shade. In real life, there's sun. A LOT of sun. Then it goes way, way up. As long as you're in the shade, it's 25-27 all summer, with an occasional hot day. But if you're not... And "summer" is 5 months straight, sometimes longer, without a break.

    Now, it's wonderful, and kids love it, but to say that it's in any way like Toronto is setting yourself up

  2. I find iving in the North to be lovely - even magical. (I actually saw a cowboy on a horse rounding up a herd of cows on my drive to work this morning!)

    We do not find our cost of living to be higher since housing prices are so much more reasonable and the lifestyle is more laid back so we save money on luxuries that are considered necessities in central towns.

    I'd be happy to talk to you :-). We lived in Mitzpe Netofa for 2 years. We looked into living in Maalot and have settled in Hispin in the Golan.

    I will say that the financial incentives are not enough to make it work in the North. The family needs to come with a pioneering attitude and a will to succeed in their aliya to the "periphery".

  3. I literally just discovered I have comments - yay!
    @Kira - it was somewhat tongue in cheek. I spent all of last summer tracking temps and humidity around Israel and there is nowhere I want to live, temperature-wise. :-P
    @Unknown, thank you for your comments... will try to be in touch, and in touch with our own feelings about pioneering; that's the sense I had of it already.
    Yay - comments, I'm so thrilled!


I'd love to hear what you have to say.