Tzfat American Community
דוברי אנגלית צפת|
Tzfat Anglos, Americans in Tzfas|
Jews from English-Speaking countries who have immigrated to Tzfat.|
Tzfat is an attractive destination for many English-Speakers who immigrate to Israel. The city welcomes these newcomers. Veteran English-speakers have established many self-help institutions and organizations to make settlement easier.
 Early English-Speaking Residents
Anglos who settled in Tzfat in the early years of the State were few and far between. Until the ‘70s there were very few families or individuals who were interested in living in the remote town. By the 1970s, with the development of the Chabad and Breslev communities, the opening of the Tzfat hospital and the burgeoning tourist industry, increasing numbers of English-Speakers began to make their way to Tzfat.
By the early years of the 21st century, native English-speakers accounted for nearly 1000 Tzfat residents. When their children are taken into account, the number expands. These residents include individuals who have immigrated from almost any English-speaking country including the United States, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, England and Scotland. Some English-speakers have become involved with local Tzfat religious communities such as Chabad, Breslev, Carlebach or Sanz while others maintain a more general affiliation or do not affiliate with any religious community at all.
A number of beloved Tzfat institutions were established by native English-speakers and are staffed by largely English-speaking staff members. The Ascent Institute and Livnot U’Lehibanot which operate Jewish Identity programs, the Safed English Library, the Lev UNeshama Safed Charity and, the Committee for Ethiopian Jews of Safed were all founded and are operated by native English-speakers. A new cultural venue, the Khan of the White Donkey was conceived and executed by local Anglos and immigrants from English-speaking countries are very involved in the environmental activities of the city through the Halevav Safed Center for Healthy Living.
The Kosov Synagogue was renovated and reopened by an English-speaking group after it had been closed for several decades. English-speakers are heavily involved in Chabad, Breslev and Sanz institutions. The administration of the Machon Alte Seminary of Tzfat includes many English-speakers.
Anglos are employed throughout Tzfat, including in the Ziv Hospital, educational institutions and commercial enterprises throughout the city. Several eateries, a book shop and other businesses are owned by immigrants from English-speaking countries.
As more and more new immigrants arrived in Tzfat, self-help groups were created to ease the lives of the new residents. There is a newsletter, the “Tzfatline” that is published several times each week. This newsletter is a free service and provides postings about real estate, items for sale or give-away, ride-sharing and other helpful information. The Nefesh B’Nefesh organization is active in Tzfat, assisting new immigrants with housing, education and employment information. And the Tzfat English library continues to serve as a center of help and assistance on an informal basis -- along with its supply of English books, magazines, videos and audios.
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