I suppose there isn’t much info out there on the webs about Tzur Hadassah, because every once in a while I’ll get an email from someone asking about moving there. I’m more than happy to share my responses so that everyone can benefit. If you have any other questions, leave a comment.
Here’s my latest Tzur Hadassah information guide:
Tzur Hadassah is the Green Line… It’s within the 1967 borders, so it is technically Israel, but one side of it faces the West Bank directly. Wadi Fukeen is in that direction, in the valley between Tzur and Beitar (Beitar and the Wadi are outside the Green Line).
Past Tzur Hadassah (within Israeli borders) are Nes Harim, Bar Giyora, Mavo Beitar and past the forest, Beit Shemesh. Going the other way – through the machsom – you pass Beitar, Hussan, and then turn left towards the tunnels with Gush Etzion on your right.
The bus situation in Tzur is poor; there are a handful of buses in and out but it’s not even on the hour or anything. Most, if not all, people here have cars. It’s a 15-20 minute drive to Jerusalem by car through the tunnels. People do hitch hike from within.
Tzur Hadassah is mainly secular, with a Masorti – Mizrachi presence, a Progressive-Reform population, two or three Sephardi shuls and one very small – but intimate! – Ashkenaz minyan (which is where we go). If you are looking for diversity and respectful peace between religious and secular people, as well as a sense of pluralism, this is a great place to be.
There are Anglo families here, religious, traditional and secular… In our shul, for instance, there are a handful of Anglo-mixed couples and French-mixed couples and mainly Israeli of course. This is not really an English-speaking place; I mean, the Anglos speak to each other in English but in groups it is accepted and encouraged to speak in Hebrew. The kids range from baby to teenager, although most kids are probably between toddler and elementary school.
Rent – I don’t know ranges of prices so well, but I’d say you could pay around 2500 – 3000 NIS a month for a 3 bedroom apartment. There are also nice houses for rent. Currently they are building a new complex of duplexes, and they are pretty much all bought, and when they are done, there will be a mass exodus from apartments and houses for rent in the rest of the community. They speculate that will be sometime in the summer; I’d think it would be later rather than sooner.
- Currently there are about 1,000 families or so, and there is talk of whether to expand or stay at this size. The debate is: stay small and cozy, with less public services, or grow bigger and get more services.
- There is a mini market that is actually impressive, although I’d suggest shopping in Beit Shemesh (15 minutes away) Beitar (5 minutes away) or Jerusalem for the bulk of your needs.
- There are three gans: a secular, a Reform and a dati.
- There is a school up to high school level, and it is also secular. There is talk of building a religious school… But who knows when that will be. Most people seem to get their kids to school in Jerusalem.
- There is an excellent mirpa’a (clinic) that is privately operated but accepts all kupot.
- There is a basket ball court, soccer pitch, a lot of parks and space to play. In the area outside the yishuv, there are tons of trails and national parks.
Don’t know what your other questions are, but feel free to ask. All in all, Tzur Hadassah is a cozy place, great for your mental health, quiet and peaceful with a city nearby for jobs and shopping and cultural activity, parks and nature all around us, really sweet, non-jaded people. It almost makes me not want to talk about it too highly, lest it ends up growing too big…