Some background – Be’Emuna was founded in 1995 by Israel Zeira. Be’Emuna has been working and specializing in real estate development and organizing purchasing groups for the past 26 years, and its target audience are members of the ultra-Orthodox and National Religious sector.
The company is considered to be an established and experienced company, and its employees are mostly religious people. That means they know the language of the sector, its needs, the important things to include in building specifications and how to design streets and community centers that will serve the religious sector well. Israel Zeira, the company’s owner, a religious man himself who believes in a religious lifestyle, claims that “The accumulated experience is important. That is why our company is called Be’Emuna, ‘In Faith’, meaning trust and honesty and also faith in God.”
In an interview with Israel, we heard about the company’s work and its derivatives, and how his vision connects to Jerusalem and Jews of the Diaspora around the world.
Be’Emuna Chairman, Israel Zeira: “First of all, Be’Emuna employs dozens of first-rate people. Some are independent and some are permanent: external contractors to carry out projects, architects, subcontractors and others. Our company has financial stability, thanks to the close accompaniment of Israel’s leading banks, which makes us reliable and makes the company safe to invest in.”
Be’Emuna’s rich resume includes dozens of projects in Israeli cities such as Elad, Beit Shemesh, Harish, Jerusalem, Har Homa, Ariel, Efrat, Kiryat Malachi and Kiryat Gat. In the past decade, Be’Emuna built over 1,500 housing units as part of purchasing groups, and more than 1,500 housing units in initiated construction projects.
Why should Jews abroad who wish to come and settle in Israel choose Be’Emuna?
Zeira: “Be’Emuna’s main goal is to create housing solutions for the National Religious and ultra-Orthodox public at prices significantly lower than their value. However, Be’Emuna does not for even one moment compromise on quality. The company has extensive experience developing large projects, strictly adhering to a high level of construction and finishing for its customers, ensuring the quality of the properties when delivering them and providing meticulous and dedicated service.”
“A Profitable Business Model with Minimal Risk”
Over the past year, the company has made a strategic decision to expand in the field of real estate development and investment, and has begun launching its subsidiary, Mashki’im Be’Emuna, which allows the public to invest in the company’s projects. “After 26 years of constant growth and high public trust, we decided we should share with the public so that we could develop even more,” says Israel Zeira. “We found the right model that does not put the public at risk, and at the same time allows the company to develop and progress.”
What is it that you offer that is different from your competitors?
Israel: “To me, and apartment in Eretz Israel is not just a mitzvah, but an investment that has been proving itself as solid and safe for years. The Mashki’im Be’Emuna investment model, which we also call A Chance Without Risk, appeals to the simple investor. In exchange for a loan of several hundred thousand shekels, the investor will receive guaranteed interest in the form of an annual return that is not conditional on the progress of the project or its marketing.”
As an ardent supporter of Jewish settlement in Israel, Israel Zeira turns to Jews in the United States in order to encourage aliyah through the purchase of land intended for the religious sectors. This is evidenced by the three prestigious projects that Be’Emuna has developed in the city of Beit Shemesh.
What exactly are you building there?
Israel: “The city of Beit Shemesh is a microcosm of Israeli society. We decided to build on top of the hill in Neve Shamir. There is a beautiful view, the location is excellent, and the planned transportation accessibility in the area enticed us into building several interesting projects such as Soho on the Park in the Neve Shamir neighborhood, and highly invested projects in the Ramat Beit Shemesh D neighborhood – Sun on the Scenery and Sun Space, which were built especially for the needs of the ultra-Orthodox community. The neighborhood’s character is suited to and intended for Americans in the ultra-Orthodox and National Religious sector, as well as for Jews from abroad who want to come and buy a home in Israel.”
“There’s a trend of investing in Jerusalem”
When it comes to the capital, Jerusalem, Israel Zeira sees it as the most important potential of all – Jewish Zionist settlement in East Jerusalem and the surrounding area, or, as he calls it, “the city’s periphery”. To this end, Israel established the new fund, called Jerusalem Land Redemption.
How exactly do you plan to settle those areas in Jerusalem where there are not many Jews?
Zeira: “The goal is to purchase land in one large mass and not through single purchases, out of a desire to properly care for Jewish neighborhoods with small populations, such as Beit Hanina, Givat Hamatox, Pisgat Ze’ev, French Hill, Beit Safafa, etc. Just like Arabs purchase 20 housing units in East Jerusalem. Ultimately, the creation of land in all these neighborhoods will become entire buildings for families.”
There are currently three bodies in Jerusalem that deal with land redemption in East Jerusalem: Ateret Kohanim, the Elad Association in the City of David, and another body operating on Shimon Hatzadik Street.
How do you manage to find these lands?
Zeira: “The Jerusalem Land Redemption Fund operates in two ways. At first, Be’Emuna locates investors interested in engaging in the redemption of Jerusalem, which entails a higher risk but is a greater mitzvah. The risk is the time required, and the fact that the purchases are made from Arabs, and there is much fraud. On the other hand, by donating to an organization that deals with redemption. It will take many years to convert them into commercial properties, and this is where Be’Emuna comes in and allows people to participate through the organization that deals with the redemption of land and houses (not in the area of the Old City).”
To date, the fund has purchased three plots of land in Jerusalem, and is looking for investors to be involved in additional purchases. “We’ve already purchased land,” shares Zeira, “we are in negotiations with many Arab landowners, from whom it is not always possible to purchase due to a lack of investors.”