web analytics
April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Home
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Pioneers of the Periphery: Olim of the South

Got that pioneering spirit? You’re invited to help build Israel’s periphery by planting roots in southern soil with Nefesh B'Nefesh.
Bicycle in South

Photo Credit: NBN

Share Button

Hoping to make a meaningful contribution to a high-potential area? Interested in buying a private home for the price of an apartment? Looking for a less stressful life that has the flavor of an exotic vacation? A new wave of English-speaking Olim is heading to Israel’s periphery and enjoying a genuinely southern welcome.

“You have the ability to make an impact here, to be a big fish in a smaller pond,” notes Ravit Greenberg, a Schenectady New York native who made Aliyah in 2005 and now lives with her family in Be’er Sheva. According to Greenberg, who is the Director of the Nefesh B’Nefesh Go South initiative, “people have Negev pride and they want to bring you into it.” Be’er Sheva, Ashkelon, Mitzpeh Ramon and other areas are receiving these enthusiastic immigrants with open arms, and word is spreading fast.

Since the launch of Go South, interest in moving to the Negev region has more than tripled. “We hope to bring several hundred Olim to the south this year and next,” reports Greenberg. Most of these families and singles are new to Israel, while others made Aliyah recently and are now heading south thanks to the help of Go South’s relocation project. Although Olim receive grants no matter where they settle, all these future residents of the southern cities will receive a greatly enhanced Go South assistance package. This package is thanks to the sponsors of the program: Nefesh B’Nefesh, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, The Jewish Agency For Israel, the Jewish National Fund and Israel’s Ministry of Immigrant Absorption.

The combination of this new incentive package and the superb infrastructure developed by the many southern Olim who came from America, South Africa and England in the 70′s and the 80′s, means that the opportunity is ripe for a new generation of periphery pioneers.

Ophira Stramer and family are already on board. 28-year-old Stramer made Aliyah to Arad in 2004 and moved to Be’er Sheva a year later. “I wanted to be away from the center. I was hoping to go to an area with not as many Anglos, to learn the language and become as Israeli as possible,” she explains. For the past nine years Stramer has been teaching high level English at Sapir College in Sderot. Recently chosen as Teacher of the Year, Stramer is making a successful career meeting the high demand for English language teachers in the region. Naturally this means that she speaks English most of the day. “It’s funny,” she reflects with a chuckle. “I came to become Israeli but I married an American and I work in English. I see I gravitate towards English and I don’t fight it anymore.” Of course, Stramer still has ample opportunity to work on her Hebrew since amongst shopkeepers and other service-providers in the city, knowledge of English is a rarer commodity than in other parts of the country.

Stramer’s other half, Josh, is an environmental engineer who supervises environmental remediation projects in Ramat Hovav, Haifa and other areas. Eager to apply his talents to the south in all ways, Mr. Stramer also uses his green thumb to run a communal garden that he established for children of Olim who live in a nearby absorption center. NBN Go South When not at work or caring for their young family, the Stramers enjoy the local color, and the neighbors. After renting for a year, the Stramers bought a nice apartment in one of the city’s newer neighborhoods. “Housing is much cheaper in the Negev,” she points out. “And food is as well. We have friendly Israeli neighbors with kids the same age as our kids. There’s a courtyard in front of our building and there’s something so nice about watching all the little kids running down to play there together. I grew up in a non-Jewish area and I didn’t know how special it is that kids can play outside on Shabbos.” Ophira comments. “There’s lots of school options and lots of shuls in the area. And there’s something about the pace of life here, people seem more relaxed.” For a more relaxed city, Be’er Sheva is notably dynamic, since, as Stramer enumerates, it boasts: New museums, a new industrial park, a mayor who keeps the city beautiful and clean, and a thriving university with an active student life. Thanks to the popularity of Ben Gurion University of the Negev and the Shamoon College of Engineering, Be’er Sheva has emerged as Israel’s college town, and the destination of many students including native Israelis, foreign exchange students and Olim. According to Stramer even Be’er Sheva’s weather is a draw. “The heat is dry here. There’s no humidity. I appreciate that.” The Stramers’ love of their adopted hometown clearly runs deep, just ask their nearly six-year-old son Negev, he’ll tell you all about it!

Share Button

About the Author: Benzi works for Nefesh B'Nefesh.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Pioneers of the Periphery: Olim of the South”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Putin-Obama Meme 1
Egypt Signing Unprecedented $3 Billion MiG-35 Deal with Russia
Latest Home Stories
shikun binuy_natanya-night-tes15

More than Just a Building Standard

Spa 1.2

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.

Clarification and Update: Wording in the title of the article “Rabbi in Crimea Escapes with Torah Scroll” tas been changed to “Rabbi in Crimea Makes it Out on the Last Train“, to avoid any potential misunderstanding that Rabbi Yitzchok Meyer Lipszyc may have stolen the Torah from the Crimea war zone, or abandoned his community […]

Children playing at the Meir Panim summer camp.

Across Israel, Meir Panim responds to the growing needs of the country’s 1.75 million impoverished residents through various food and social service programs.

Your chance to win free, glatt kosher Abeles & Heymann hot dogs is just a few clicks away. Click now for details.

The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya is open and has redefined luxury in Israel.

The International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) brought together the best academic minds and practitioners in the field of terrorism.

“Ultimate Mission to Israel” promises a once in a lifetime exploration of the Jewish state’s struggle for survival.

The conception and the design of this boutique residence differ from the other high standing properties available in Tel Aviv.

Sara Black is available internationally as a private chef for the Jewish holidays and other occasions.

From Secular to Ultra-Orthodox, Jewish High School students from the Diaspora find their feet in Israel – for free.

This is your opportunity to get your FREE Jewish Press wall calendar – shipped right to your home or office.

More Articles from Benzi Kluwgant
Bicycle in South

Got that pioneering spirit? You’re invited to help build Israel’s periphery by planting roots in southern soil with Nefesh B’Nefesh.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/home/promotional-content/pioneers-of-the-periphery-olim-of-the-south/2013/06/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: