Chareidi families looking for a place to live are welcome in Upper Nazareth, the city’s mayor, Ronen Polut, told MK Rabbi Menachem Eliezer Mozes, who led a delegation to the city this week. MK Rabbi Mozes visited several points of interest in the city, including the city’s main shul and the mikveh, and consulted with the city’s Chief Rabbi, Harav Yeshayahu Herzl.
At a meeting with the mayor and members of the city council, MK Rabbi Mozes discussed housing, a major issue for the chareidi community. Some 500 families are set to move into Upper Nazareth over the summer, and MK Rabbi Mozes discussed some of the institutions and infrastructure that the families needed.
Upper Nazareth, the “Jewish” neighbor of its well-known Arab city, has been seeking to expand, and has been seeking a new source of residents. Until now, the city was largely populated by a mix of immigrants from former Soviet Union countries and native-born Israelis, but in recent years the housing shortage in Nazareth has led to Arabs from the city to seek rentals and even purchases in Upper Nazareth. In recent years, city administrators have marketed the city to the chareidi community as a welcoming and affordable alternative.
In recent months, the National Planning Council approved a plan for the development of a light rail line between Haifa and Nazareth, with a stop in Upper Nazareth. The 43 kilometer-long line will pass through 17 towns and cities along the way, and has been declared an “emergency national infrastructure” plan. The line itself, when built, will be among the most advanced light rail lines in the world. Based on a technology called Trin Tram, the trains will be able to travel as fast as 100 kilometers per hour, compared to the usual 60 kph maximum for light rail trains of this type. Each 52-meter-long car will be able to move up to 300 people, with 130 sitting and the rest standing. Under the plan, each train will consist of 32 cars – allowing for the movement of some 1,000 people on each trip.
Some 18,000 new housing units are planned in the coming years, and MK Rabbi Mozes hopes that many of them will be allocated to the chareidi community. Commenting on the visit, Polut said that he “promises a wonderful future for chareidi families who come here, from every point of view.”