Thursday, November 10, 2011

Our Nahariya Apartment!

Today we signed the lease on our new home in Israel. We did it! Rather, Elul really did it, what with his countless Skype conversations and emails with our real estate agent and, more recently, our new landlady. So without further ado, please find a little pictorial introduction to Nahariya and our new apartment.

A view of the coastline, looking south towards Nahariya from Rosh HaNikra, very close to the Lebanese border.

Part of the beautiful Nahariya beach promenade.

Downtown Nahariya, from Gaton Street. Our apartment is a five minute walk from here.

The approach to our apartment building, on Aliyah Street. What an auspicious address!

Our building. Modest on the outside, but lovely on the inside. We're on the top floor.

The wall along the entry hall downstairs. I like the plaques! I wonder what the ads say on the bulletin board?

The living room, with the breakfast bar and a bit of the kitchen showing.

The kitchen. Note our landlady next to the fridge, trying to stay out of the shot.

The seating area. How am I going to keep that furniture clean? Note to self: pack slipcovers!

The master bedroom. It also has a large wardrobe, since older Israeli apartments don't always have closets.

The guest room. Simple and cheerful.

One of the bathrooms. The shower area is literally an area, with a drain on the floor. We're lucky to have a bathtub, though!

A work of seriously badass public art. I think this is in Acco, though, which is the next town south of Nahariya.

Last but not least, some great commercial art in Nahariya. This sculpture greets guests at The Penguin Restaurant. The Penguin is the oldest, most famous, and most loved restaurant in town.
As you can imagine, the thought of making this journey is both exciting and daunting. With less than two months to go, I am resisting the urge to start packing now, since I know we will need most things until the day before we leave. For the things we will put on our "lift"--the stuff we will have shipped to Israel--we have to let the shippers pack all that stuff themselves, so that they will insure it. Because of this, I really can't pack anything, which is strangely frustrating. 

We're shipping our personal effects (clothes, books, art, etc.) and a very few bits of furniture. But we have an apartment full of furniture here, so we've been puzzling over how to get rid of it in one fell swoop without simply giving it away. We will be immigrants who won't be working and don't speak the language in our new country, and it will probably stay that way for at least six months, if not more. Every NIS (New Israeli Shekel) we can scrape together and/or avoid spending, the better.

Today, Elul arranged for a furniture buyer to come to our apartment on December 15th. If we make a deal with him, the buyer will return a few days after that to pick up nearly all our furniture, minus the bed, two office chairs and small desks, and our recliners. This means we will be living out of our suitcases and eating dinner on our laps for about ten days, since we won't have our dressers or a table anymore. I'm telling you now, during this time of "fun camping" in our apartment, I will be thinking "I'm getting too old for this crap!" more than once!



  1. how do you like it- we are making aliyah and want to see Nahariya- we love the north and want uncrowded beaches. Are you satisfied with your shipper? I also want to find out about english- is it spoken there- we are not fluent in Hebrew. Thanks and mazel tov to you both!!

    1. Shalom, Debby! We love Nahariya, full stop. We've been very satisfied with our shipper...there are always little stumbling blocks along the way, whenever you have a complicated process involving multiple parties (the shipping company, the movers themselves, the customs clearance people, the delivery guys, etc.), but all in all we are very happy.

      Although you will not see a LOT of English on signs (you will see Hebrew, Arabic and Russian on many signs around Nahariya), what usually happens is that when you start trying to speak Hebrew with an Israeli, they'll hear your accent and ask if you speak English, and then you're OK! Ulpan is intense but you'll be surprised how practical and enjoyable it really is. I spoke zero Hebrew before we came and only got through Level One of Rosetta Stone Hebrew, and I'm managing to survive.

      I do recommend making a pilot trip to Israel to really visit all the communities. Although they are very close together, each community, large or small, has a really different feel to them. We made our pilot trip 13 months ago and it was worth every single penny. Best wishes and mazel tov on your decision to make Aliyah!

  2. We're looking to make aliyah to either Nahariya, Karmiel or Tzfat. I do like the ocean and am leaning to Nahariya some. If I may ask, what do apts. run for in Nahariya (rent or buy)? Yours is very nice.

    I'm a Web Marketing Manager with 18 years of web experience. I'm hoping that will count for something in Israel :-)

    My wife and I are Chabadniks. :-)

    I'll keep watching this blog. Really good information.

    Thank you!

    1. Shalom, Shlomo! Prices for apartments in Nahariya vary depending on proximity to the ocean, first, and then proximity to the town center/railway station/bus station. Also, rents vary according to whether your building has an elevator or not: if it doesn't, the higher up you go, the cheaper the rent. If your building does have an elevator, then the higher you go, the more expensive the rent!

      Rents also are influenced by whether your building has been retrofitted to withstand earthquakes or not, or whether your apartment has a private bomb shelter within the apartment, in the basement of the building, or a collective one for the neighborhood. So in a word, rents vary wildly! They are generally more expensive than in Karmiel or Tzfat, though, because of the sea and the train station.

      You would do very well to contact Yoram Shurany, who acted as our rental agent, who can give you real figures about Nahariya rents. (Email me at and I can send you his contact details.)

      By the way, Nahariya has a very active Chabad community here with lots of olim who participate. I'm biased, of course, but I think Nahariya is fabulous! :) Congratulations on deciding to make Aliyah!

  3. BTW how was the adjustment leaving home, family etc

    1. Shalom, Debby, and thanks for reading. Initially, the adjustment to leaving family was not so hard, simply because we were so busy and caught up in our new environment that we didn't have time to be homesick.

      Personally, I've had a few down days when I've REALLY missed familiar faces and places, but it hasn't been too bad overall. I grew up having family all over the country, so I'm used to it.

      In my opinion, there's never been a better time to make Aliyah, because now there are things like Skype and Facebook, cellphones and the internet. Nothing can take the place of being directly in the presence of one's loved ones, but it's a heck of a lot better now that we don't have to rely solely on letters to keep in touch, like I did when I was younger and living in all sorts of places.

      I think that every oleh/olah should have some kind of game plan in place for visiting loved ones on a planned basis, as well as having an emergency fund ready in case of those awful, middle of the night phonecalls that can come, especially if there are aging parents in the picture. This can reduce a lot of anxiety about making Aliyah. It's really worth the extra effort and time needed to get this in place.

      Also, practically speaking, once you get here you will soon find out what you wish you would have brought with you, but didn't. In other words, you'll be jonesing for a trip to Wal-Mart in nothing flat! Also, speak frankly with your relatives about how you plan to keep in touch with them, how often you'll want to visit, and so on. We spent quite a few afternoons teaching my mother-in-law how to use Skype (her live-in aide, actually), and it's really paid off. We've been able to give her a "tour" of our apartment, have her "meet" our cats, and show off our tans! :)

    2. I thought I would ask a quick question because I'm looking at a lot of blogs while trying to make a decision as to where my daughter and I will move. We plan to make aliyah this summer and aren't quite sure which town we'll head to. I've been looking at Karmiel, Acco, Nahariya, and Ma'alot.

      Cost is a serious issue to us, as is the possibility of finding even the most basic employment while our absorption basket payments are still in effect. Yes, our Hebrew is poor unfortunately. You indicate that the rental prices in Nahariya vary wildly, but can you be more specific? How low is low? We just want something simple and very low in price so we can get on our feet. I just read an article that somewhat discouraged me regarding Karmiel sadly, and I'm concerned about the large Arab population in Acco as well as affordability. Ma'alot is reportedly pricy and has limted jobs, and in some cases, the prices are not quite up to date on the Nefesh B'Nefesh pages. So, if you can share any information I'd greatly appreciate it.

  4. Yes, I too will be interested in the cost of your specific place with the million dollar view! Wow!

    Do I understand that it came furnished? If so, how prevalent is this? (I will need a furnished apartment for just myself.)

    I am 49 -- going on 39 -- widowed, diverse interests, quiet and independent. I love all I have seen about Nahariya except that it seems to be predominantly families and retirees. Am I correct? I am concerned there may not be a decent-sized population of singles. What does this look like to you?

    I will be making a pilot trip to Nahariya in the few months

  5. marlene and steveMay 8, 2014 at 1:55 AM

    Is this blog still current?
    if so, let me know how you like Naharia after some time being there?
    We plan to make Aliyah next year and this lovely town is a strong possibility for us to settle.


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