Bar Ilan students: Givat Shmuel vs. Jerusalem.

Someone asked, and I thought there might be someone else out there who was curious, so I’m putting this up as a personal reference on the topic.
The topic is: Bar Ilan – Is a modernly-religious student oleh better off living in Givat Shmuel (small community next to the school in Ramat Gan) or living in Jerusalem (40-60 minutes away) and commuting?

Personally, I am modern religious, as in shomeret shabbat and koshrut and all that jazz, but I wear jeans and I go dancing, etc. It seems as though a lot of the Anglos in Givat Shmuel are riding a different religious wave, where they are shomrei kashrut and shabbat and tzniut and it’s more, it’s an attitude, it’s a lifestyle, etc. You know it when you see it. I don’t think I would fit in that; I went to a yeshiva high school in New York and I know what I’d be in for. I’m just more laid-back, easygoing about religious practice – and everything else too.

The commute sucks at times. I’ve managed to find some rides with people (and I pay some gas money) and that eases it. The truth is, the commute sucks more because I work full time and my day is one big rush. If I didn’t work on the complete other side of Jerusalem, I don’t think it would be so bad. I go in 3 nights a week now too.

I’m not a huge fan of Jerusalem for other reasons, nothing to do with commuting or Bar Ilan, but I find that at least here there is always something to do and new people to meet, a bigger community and more room to breathe. I also like not living at my school; whereas in the States we lived on campus and lived, breathed, and ate school, here the attitude is not like that. Life exists outside your studies. I think that would be harder to emulate living in Givat Shmuel.

Ask me anything else…






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