Jerusalem, with a large and eclectic student population, has a wide range of furnished and partially-furnished rental apartments. Most students live in rented apartments that are in close proximity to the Yeshiva campus. The Conservative Yeshiva doesn’t provide accommodations or dorms – students are responsible for finding their own housing.
The most common areas in which Yeshiva students live are Old Katamon, Rechavia, the German Colony, and Baka. These areas are within easy walking distance to the Yeshiva. Old Katamon, Rechavia, and the more expensive Talbieh are the closest areas to the Yeshiva. Old Katamon, the Germany Colony, and Baka are home to many of Jerusalem’s liberal Anglo-oriented synagogues. Kiryat Shmuel is close by as well; Rasko (where many Israeli students live) is a bit further out. You can find something cheaper in the Katamonim and commute to the Yeshiva by bus. The neighborhood of Nachlaot is also relatively close to the Yeshiva and is inexpensive, but it is further from the egalitarian synagogues. Each of neighborhood has its own character, advantages, and disadvantages.
If you live with roommates, you can expect to pay $350-550 per month. If you are paying more than $550, you should make sure that you are getting your money’s worth in amenities (e.g., washing machine, porch, heat, etc.). You will also need to check if the amount that you are paying includes municipality taxes (arnona), utilities (gas, water, electricity, internet/cable), and building maintenance (va’ad bayit). Students who wish to live alone and students coming for short periods of time will likely pay more per month.
Short-term and summer students sometimes choose to stay in hotels or guest houses near the Yeshiva.
How Do I Find Housing?
Jerusalem is a “college town,” and there is an active market for student apartments. Yeshiva students have been renting apartments in Jerusalem for many years, and on the whole it has worked well.
One great way of finding an apartment is inheriting one from people you know who will be leaving Israel around the time that you want to come. If you don’t know people here, some good services to use are Bayit Buddy (www.bayitbuddy.com), Craigs List Jerusalem (www.craigslist.com), and Flathunting (www.flathunting.com), a free English-language Yahoo! Group with a wide variety of Jerusalem apartment listings.
Hebrew-speakers can avail themselves of Ma’agar Meidah, probably the best local apartment service. For a fee of 219 shekels for one month (discounts available for additional months), you will receive a new listing of available apartments every day via email. Contact Ma’agar Meidah through their website at www.999.co.il or by phone at 1-700-501-555 (Israel). Other good Hebrew-language apartment-hunting websites to try are www.homeless.co.il, www.sheal.co.il, Kan Garim (www.kangarim.co.il), http://www.yad2.com and the Hebrew University student apartment board at www.huji.ac.il/huji/info_apartments.htm.
Even if you aren’t able to find something long-term, you might be able to find a temporary sublet for the summer or for your first month here that will give you time to look more extensively once you’re in the country. Some useful websites for short-term housing options include Jerusalem Bed and Breakfasts (http://www.bnb.co.il/), Good Morning Jerusalem (www.accommodation.co.il), and Jerusalem Lodges (www.jerusalemlodges.com).
The Yeshiva has an online student forum, open to all accepted applicants, which lists local housing opportunities. It also allows students to communicate with each other for the purpose of housing. The Yeshiva office will be happy to provide accepted applicants and students with specific information to help them with their apartment search.