By Anessa V. Cohen
During my visit to my daughter Simmy and my grandchildren who live in Modiin, I had time to explore the city and get to know the neighborhood. If you had asked me in the past what I would do in Modiin, I would have answered, “Probably nothing,” and planned my visit to go elsewhere when not spending time with Simmy and the children. But boy, was I surprised!
Located halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, in the center of the country, Modiin is far from being the sleepy town I thought it was. Started in 2003, Modiin was created by merging the villages of Maccabim and Reut together with the newly growing Modiin that was being built at a fast pace under the auspices and design of architect Moshe Safdie.
Modiin is a city of inviting wide-open green spaces, with different sections of the city set up with a variety of beautifully laid-out apartments and private homes—many with large backyards, at least by Israeli standards—all surrounding its center.
These are the different sections of Modiin:
Hakramin. The streets are named after the Hebrew months of the year.
Tsipori. (S. Kaiser) A new area where all the streets are named after birds.
Ha’neviim. (N. Shimshoni) All the streets are named after the neviim (prophets).
HaMeginin. (S. Shimshoni) The streets are named after generals and important battles.
Avnei Chen. (Kaiser) Masuah, Hanachalim, and the more well-known area that features so many Anglo immigrants.
Buchman. Divided into two groups: N. Buchman (Hashvatim), where every street is named after a sheivet (Reuven, Shimon, etc.) and S. Buchman, which consists of streets after the Imahot (Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel, and Leah) all divided by two streets—Esther Malka (cannot figure how Esther was put here) and Shivtei Israel.
These neighborhoods surround the center of town together with their side-by-side neighbors of Reut and Maccabim. The center of town has been laid out with greenery and flowers everywhere. The largest park, Anaba Park, features recreational boating and an amphitheatre as well as many ball fields and running and jogging paths. There are regular concerts and events featured throughout the year both in Anaba Park and some of the other surrounding parks in the area.
Although there is always the beautiful Azriel shopping mall right in the center of town to invite the masses with stores, restaurants, and movie houses to relax in, Modiin has been built with some unique features not really seen in other cities in Israel.
On the west side of Modiin just off highways 3 and 431, a large industrial zone has been created featuring the Yishpro commercial center—with more than a dozen or more mini-malls one after the other competing for shoppers, as well as Paatei Modiin, an underground train complex with a park-and-ride parking lot which offers commuter train service to Tel Aviv in under 17 minutes (additional train service to Jerusalem is still in the construction stage). This train service is in addition to a central train station on the east side of Modiin.
Although Yishpro is busy and popular, on the other side of Modiin off highway 443 another industrial zone, Shilot, with different shopping offerings such as building supplies, landscaping supplies, home goods, and more supermarkets as well as some very nice coffee and restaurant spots is also inviting and in high use.
I found a lot of similarity between Modiin and the Five Towns in that life in Modiin is more similar to living in a Long Island suburb with the additional flavor of living in Israel in an upscale environment. The general population in Modiin is young and educated, consisting mostly of professionals, business executives, and entrepreneurs.
Driving to Jerusalem took me 20 minutes (with no traffic); the airport and Tel Aviv were about the same time. If anyone would like more information about housing and pricing in Modiin, you can call Simmy—her U.S. number is 914-826-8155 and she will be happy to assist you with your real-estate queries. v
Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker and a licensed N.Y.S. mortgage originator with over 20 years of experience, offering full-service residential, commercial, and management real-estate services (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and mortgaging services (First Meridian Mortgage) in the Five Towns and throughout the tri-state area. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, www.AVCrealty.com. Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to anessa.cohen@AVCrealty.com.