[A few days ago, the writer of the post asked his friends to comment why they chose to leave Jerusalem after finishing their studies here. Jerusalem faces a challenge: many of its young residents choose to leave the city after their studies, for a variety of reasons (many common complaints are listed below).]
"A couple of my personal conclusions from your comments on the post ‘Why did you leave Jerusalem?’
– Jerusalem isn’t Tel Aviv. It never was Tel Aviv, and it doesn’t need to be. One is a normal city that functions pretty smoothly and allows its residents a relatively comfortable life. The other is unique city facing countless challenges. Now, you decide were you prefer to live – the majority of sane people will choose the more comfortable life, and rightly so.
– Jerusalem offers a large selection of cultural activities, cultural institutions, countless events festivals, performances etc but it may not be accessible enough to people. I agree that the age group of 27-35 can sometimes be ignored in favor of the students and families with children, but I haven’t found the right way to change the situation. Got any suggestions?
– Shabbas, Shabbas, Shabbas. Really depends on your personal preference. Some people enjoy the quiet of Jerusalem on the Sabbath, and are content with the small amount of bars and attractions in city (like me), and there are some who see it as a reason to return to their parents' home for the weekend, and think weekends here are incredibly boring. After a year away, you’ll miss Friday night dinners with friends, the quiet and the breeze of Jerusalem…And I’ll be jealous that you’re posting photos from the beach.
– Haredization and Moshe Leon [new Jerusalem mayor]: The city has been in an ongoing state of ‘Haredization’ for many years. Whoever is aware of the fact that parts of this city are religious in character, and is willing to accept it, but at the same time make an honest effort to prevent the process of Haredization from filtering into our lives, will know how to cope with the situation. Moshe Leon has been in his position for a day and a half, and while I am certainly not ecstatic about having him as my mayor, it is too early to reach any conclusion regarding his performance.
– Public transport certainly is inefficient, and a cause for my frustration, but that isn’t a reason to leave a city. There is not city in Israel, apart from possibly Haifa, that has ‘good’ and ‘efficient’ public transportation that runs on the Sabbath. But the situation certainly doesn’t help the case for Jerusalem.
– Employment: The most justified reason to leave the city, in my opinion. A small selection in a large number of fields, significantly lower salaries etc.
– Peer Pressure: even if many won’t admit it, a lot of people leave Jerusalem after finishing university even though they enjoyed living here because of peer pressure. ‘All my friends left so I left too’, ‘I was afraid no one would stay here with me’, ‘I felt I was missing out on something because I hadn’t moved to Tel Aviv’ and more. At the end of the day, that is a legitimate reason, but it’s still a pity… There are a lot of people that really love Jerusalem, and have truly found a home here (and even a job!), and have decided to leave because they were afraid of staying here alone.
– Radicalism, drama, terror, demonstrations, harassments; A filling of insecurity in the city, and just having enough of the events that occur here every other day: I can totally sympathize, but there is also something nice about living where it all happens, and not in a bubble. Jerusalem is a true representation of Israel – we have everything here, and all the shit here is shoved in our faces…but there are a lot of beautiful things here too, right?
– The average student that is here temporarily is completely disconnected from local Jerusalemites.
– Whoever is more active during his studies – working, being politically active, in the Student’s Association, in entrepreneurial activities and volunteering, will probably feel more deeply connected to the city and there’s a bigger chance that he’ll chose to live here when he grows up.
To sum up: looking for an apartment in Tel Aviv, 2-3 rooms, 5000 shekels max, dog friendly and gay friendly.
Just kidding. For now.
Thank you for commenting, I hope it’ll come to something good in the end.
In the picture, two things that for some reason cause many people to leave Jerusalem. Look how cute that is!"
– Amit Peretz, West Jerusalemite
0202 Editor's Notes
 The Ashkenazi pronunciation for the word Sabbath, in this case, indicating Haredim.