about Harish

Harish is a new city, currently under construction in the northern Sharon region of Israel, near Hadera, Pardes Hanna-Karkur, and rural centers in the jurisdiction of the Menasheh Regional Council. Harish is located in the heart of natural woodlands, yet near central traffic arteries such as Routes 6 and 65. The location and unique planning features allow Harish to offer residents all the advantages of a community-based town together with the urban amenities and services of sophisticated cities. The city is located on the outer ring of the greater Tel Aviv metropolitan area. Given accelerated development, Harish can be expected to function as a regional center for services to the area in its vicinity.

Harish was first built as a community-based settlement in the 1980s. However, in 2010, the government decided that Harish should grow to accommodate 100,000 people to solve the Israeli housing crisis and serve as an attractive option for young families. Harish is distinguished by green, community-based planning, and features many parks and public institutions, and low-rise, spacious construction. The central location, its appealing plans, and the fact that the city is open to all sectors of Israeli society, have created great public demand. The high demand continues, and apartments in the new city are sold daily for constantly increasing sums of money. In November 2015, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accompanied by Housing and Construction Minister Yoav Gallant, Finance Minister Moshe Kahalon, Transportation Minister Israel Katz, Interior Minister Sylvan Shalom, and MK David Amsalem, visited the city. On that occasion Mr. Netanyahu declared Harish a national project. About a month later, the government approved a decision, promoted by Mr. Gallant and the members of his ministry’s staff, enlisting all relevant government ministries on behalf of the city’s development with a total budget of more than ILS 1.2 billion.

Harish is now developing at a pace never before seen in Israel. The expectation is for 10,000 new residents to move in annually, so that within a decade the population should reach some 100,000. According to a census the Harish Local Council conducted, about 78 percent of home buyers consist of young families, half of whom come from the country’s center. Some 65 percent are academics, interested in volunteering and being involved in community affairs.

 

Education

The local government’s Education, Culture, Leisure and Community Division and its Engineering Division are preparing for the future construction of schools, youth centers, culture venues, and sport facilities. On September 1, 2016, Harish opened four daycare complexes, each with three groups in every complex, 16 preschool classes, and five elementary schools. The community will have national lottery-funded youth and community clubs, an early childhood play center, and a public library. In 2017, Harish will open another five daycare centers, 24 preschools, and five elementary schools, while the city expects to open its first middle school and high school in 2018. All of the schools are experiencing growth, and new schools will be added to accommodate community needs.

 

Elementary School and High School

The new schools in Harish will be constructed on the basis of site-specific green construction principles. The schools will feature solar panel roofs to reduce the need for electricity. All the schools in Harish will be accessible in accordance with Education Ministry standards. Each school will have the option to apply whatever pedagogical approach is best suited to it and its student population, but all will comply with key principles of education to be determined by the city’s Education, Culture, Leisure and Community Division and the Education Ministry. This year, the academic theme in the school system is acceptance of the other, patience, and tolerance.

The formal and informal educational systems in Harish set new goals, tackle different challenges, and provide educational options for children from the age of three months to the end of high school. The city cares deeply for the welfare of its children and the needs of the community. The Harish Local Council promotes a policy of student empowerment and emphasizes scholastic achievements, values, love of one’s fellow, tolerance, and acceptance of the other, while encouraging excellence and providing extra help, running unique pedagogical programs, and investing in methodological tools that ensure progress for all children.

Harish runs extensive therapeutic settings, including:

  • A learning center: subsidized by the local government to help students’ scholastic progress.
  • Parent workshops: provided on the basis of need.
  • Family therapy: provided during the school year on the basis of need.
  • Child and teen developmental center: opening in September 2016.
  • Educational psychological service: serving the teachers, students, and parents of all schools in Harish.
  • In addition to the formal school system, Harish is preparing a wide array of informal education options:
  • After-school activities to serve the needs of all groups in the city.
  • A municipal volunteer unit to work in conjunction with the Social Services Department and the Education, Culture, Leisure and Community Division.
  • Special activities for youth, including youth-only events and a shadow youth government.
  • A public library: opened on September 1, 2016.

The youth training unit: the Education, Culture, Leisure and Community Division of the Harish Local Council operates the Youth Unit, designed for developing young leadership. The courses will open during the school year. The unit strives to maximize the individual potential of its teens, and views the training of the community’s young as being of critical importance.

Youth movements: the youth movements are supported by the local government and are the focus of great interest of the city’s youth. Harish is home to five youth movements, all transmitting core values and patriotism: Hano’ar Ha’oved Vehalomed, Oz, Ezra, Ariel, and Bnot Beit Yaakov Batya. Harish expects to see branches of other youth movements opening in the future.

Sport: Harish promotes sport for all ages, by running after-school sports clubs, popular sports activities, the annual Harish walk, the annual Harish race, and competitive sports. The planning and construction of sports facilities, done in conjunction with the Engineering Department of the Harish Local Council, include a sports hall with seating for 400 spectators. Recently, the decision was made to erect a new multipurpose hall with seating for 5,000 spectators. This will involve a multi-million shekel investment, and will be financed with help from Toto—Israel’s National Football Pool.

Culture: Harish promotes a range of cultural activities. It offers an array of municipal events, observance of the week of the Hebrew language, summer events, story hour, youth events, Jewish holiday celebrations, and commemorative services, all of which are suitable to all population segments and ages. Furthermore, by the end of 2017, the city’s Community Center, with a 196-seat theater, is expected to be completed.

Play center: for infants and toddlers, operates Sunday through Thursday, both in the morning and the afternoon. It provides an opportunity for parents on parental leave to spend quality time with their infants and children up to the age of 6. The play center features an indoor playground, a motor skills corner, a soft seating corner, an early childhood library, a coffee bar, and more. The play center also hosts workshops for parents and infants (at extra cost).