Photo Credit: JewishPress.com
Israeli IKEA catalog 2019

Consumers in the Beit Shemesh area, rejoice.

The iconic IKEA Swedish home furnishings and accessories chain is finally opening its new Eshtaol branch just outside Beit Shemesh, also barely a half-hour drive from anywhere around the capital.

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The store, slated to open next month — just in time for Pesach shopping — and is located about half an hour away from Efrat, Neve Daniel, Gush Etzion and everywhere else around Jerusalem.

It was reportedly built in Eshtaol after it was simply impossible to find a site large enough for the store within the city of Jerusalem itself.

IKEA Israel CEO Shuki Koblenz, Matthew Bronfman and Shalom Fisher, owners of the IKEA Israel franchise, held their “cornerstone” ceremony for the new store in December 2018, announcing the latest addition to the chain would span some 25,000 square meters (270,000 sq.ft.) and employ around 400 people.

(Spoiler alert: Plan ahead for at least two hours — there is no way any reasonable shopper can engage this experience for “a few minutes” once inside any Israeli IKEA store. And it may become an addiction…)

One of the best features of the IKEA chain in Israel is its insistence on glatt kosher standard: every Israeli IKEA store features both kosher dairy and meat restaurants offering outstanding fresh-ground coffee with free refills. There are also with child-friendly facilities for nursing mothers, and a play area for children while parents are shopping. The store is really created for Jewish and Muslim shoppers.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.