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North American Jews Show Great Enthusiasm toward Buying a Home in Yesha
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The Yesha Housing Fair kickoff in Teaneck, NJ, at Congregation Bnai Yeshurun, was the kind of overwhelming success that proves a concept whose time has definitely come.

Pinchas Wallerstein, Mayor of the Binyamin Region and Yesha leader's, seemingly simple idea to offer the purchase of homes in selected Yesha communities to North American Jews provides the natural answer, as New York Assemblyman and longtime Israel activist, Dov Hikind said on Sunday, to the question so often asked, "What can we do to strengthen Israel?"

Over 250 enthusiastic area residents crowded the Bnai Yeshurun sanctuary, specific ally chosen by respected Rabbi Steve Pruzansky to reflect the element of holiness involved in having a foothold in Eretz Yisrael, to hear Amana representatives Alon Farbstein and Aliza Herbst explain the details of purchasing a home in Yesha.

While 25 people demonstrated across the street and in front of the Israeli flag-draped home of a Teaneck Jewish resident, inside approximately 20 of the 250 attendees got down to brass tacks in their decision to purchase a home.

Binyanei Bar Amana, the construction and development company which is a subsidiary of Amana, the settlement movement of Gush Emunim, has chosen 12 communities where building homes within the perimeters is 100% legal, insured and violates no agreement or quasi-agreement between The United States and Israel, in which to sell homes to North American Jews.

It was explained that those wanting to move in will be warmly embraced by Amana and the community. Those who are not yet ready to make the big move are guaranteed rental income to help cover the monthly mortgage cost. Amana guarantees a reliable, responsible renter – and will pay the monthly rental fee if there is no tenant temporarily.

Bank Igud of Israel is offering mortgages of up to 65% of the price of the house with easy financing for 20 years or more.

One enterprising, knowledgeable attendee figured out the financial details and created a spreadsheet to be circulated which takes one example and details the investment line by line showing that with the tax benefits and rental income, the out-of-pocket expense, after the down payment, is between $850 to $1500 annually, depending on the house chosen, with a tangible investment in Israeli's future the outcome.

As another attendee pointed out, this is quite a bit less than the average North American Jew donates annually to worthwhile projects where the results are heartwarming but not tangible.

Later in the day, a smaller, unadvertised event was held at the Young Israel of Hillcrest in Queens. Matti Friedman, an untiring, committed supporter, virtually singlehandedly organized a meeting which was held as snow fell unabated outside. Over a dozen serious potential buyers asked many nuts and bolts questions showing their keen interest in making this ideological investment. Matti, himself, and his wife, Beth, hope to buy a home of their own and sat crunching numbers together with others.

Karnei Shomron and Kiryat Arba seem to be the winners of this particular round of the campaign. It will be interested to see if that trend continues in Boca Raton, Florida, on March 18th, where the next event is to be held.

Further information can be obtained by e-mail alonf@amana.org.il or by calling the Israel office toll-free at 1-866-278-5144 (take into account the 7 hour time difference)

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