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Why we chose Beit Chatam

Hello, my name is Meir Tulkoff. My wife Debbie, our five children, and I made aliyah in the summer of 2001 from Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

We chose Rechovot for three basic reasons and weighed those critera against all of the other current and constantly popular other sites for aliyah.

Not in order of importance, we made an investigation based upon:

  1. Schooling. Including options for post elementary years.
  2. Communities. Religiously observant with infrastructure to support our absorption/transition.
  3. Proximity. I.e. to work/business opportunities for me as a main breadwinner in the home. This includes transportation.


Rechovot, from our research, ranked the best match for our family in all these crucial needs. The latest figures I have seen from aliyah agencies say Rechovot is a city of approximately 100,000, ranking it as one of the largest cities in the country. It is situated due south of Tel Aviv and its environs, within the Gush Dan region, and you can reach the heart of Tel Aviv via train in about 20 minutes, in just over an hour by bus, depending upon traffic. It too is also less than an hour from Jerusalem via car or bus. The train station in Rechovot is beside the two major university and research centers and it is being expanded as we speak. Servicing all the major business hubs in Gush Dan you are poised to reach business or potential jobs nearby. The city itself is home to two major high tech parks housing hundreds of firms in not only high tech but also in research, manfacturing and other arenas.

The schooling options are varied also and range from US style day school to Talmud Torah to Chedder. Girls schools include Bais Yaakov, with which we were most familiar from the States. The other girls options are also many and varied. Our son attends a newer, independant school which offers the approach which most appealed to us with our attitudes toward his education and future.

As for community, Rechovot includes a spectrum of ages and varying degrees and different types of observance in the population, e.g. Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Teimani, Chasidic, etc. At the same time, Rechovot is a thriving city with universities, advanced degree centers for sciences and other post graduate studies. The city's municipal offices are housed in the gleaming new town center complex which offers a multi-floored shopping mall and the clean and efficient central bus station in it's street level access. There are public access libraries, arts centers and museums.

Statistics I have seen estimate an anglo-population of as high as 30,000 but at the same time, very important to me and my wife for integration, living here one does not feel as though you are in an insulated bubble where Hebrew is avoidable. Our children's acclimation at school has been quite good, considering the move and all which goes along with it, during these past months. The community of Chatam has been the wonderful support system we envisioned and Rav Dovid Stein has lived up too and beyond his warmth and concern for his Kehilla (community). My wife and I encourage you to investigate thoroughly all of the rich information at the Chatam website.

I repeat that Rechovot, from our research, ranked the best match for our family. We invite you to be in touch with us via the Chatam webiste if we can answer any questions. Best of luck to you in your research to find your place, "returning home."

Thu, 28 May 2020 5 Sivan 5780