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From your fellow MSIH students:

You made it! Congrats on officially moving to Israel and making Beer Sheva your home-sweet-
home. Now it’s time to have some fun! This guide is about shopping, getting around, safety,
finding your new favorite hang outs, etc. etc. etc. Beer Sheva is an awesome place to live and
we are excited to introduce you to it.

Questions or comments - please contact the 2018 Editors:

Hadassa Holzapfel ( and Samantha Krieger (

1. Safety first 11. Healthcare
I. General I. Primary Care
II. Security Checks II. If you are sick on Shabbat
III. Handy Numbers III. Urgent Care
IV. Sirens IV. Emergencies
2. Home Internet V. Specialists
I. Pro Tips: Proxy and VPN VI. Travel clinic
3. Getting Around VII. Rehabilitation
I. Getting Around Beer Sheva VIII. Mental Health
II. Getting Around Israel IX. Complementary and Alternative
III. International Travel Medicine
4. Guide to Neighborhoods X. Women’s Health
I. Aleph XI. Contraception & STI prevention
II. Bet XII. STI checks
III. Gimmel XIII. Pregnancy
IV. Deep/South Gimmel XIV. Abortion
V. Dalet XV. List of clinics
VI. Dalet East 12. Relationships and Dating Israelis
VII. Hey 13. LGBTQ
VIII. Ramot 14. Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault
IX. New Vav I. MSIH Minority Affairs
5. School Email and Campus WiFi II. MSIH Ethics Committee
I. School Email III. Other Resources
II. WiFi and Proxy 15. Extracurricular Activities Campus Activities
6. Computer Repair I. Volunteering
I. For PC II. Art Classes
II. For Mac III. Student Groups and Leadership
7. Shabbat Opportunities
8. Food and Groceries IV. Other Clubs and Activities
I. Supermarkets 16. Appendix 1: Religious services
II. The Shuk Central Market I. Christian Congregations
III. Delivery II. Jewish Synagogues
IV. Restaurants 17. Appendix 2: Giant Restaurant List
V. Shopping 18. Appendix 3: Bus Routes
9. Household Items 19. Appendix 4: Cars: Driving, Renting and Owning
I. Housewares I. Driving in Israel
II. Athletic Equipment and Gear II. Renting Owning a Car
III. Health food stores III. Buying A Car
IV. Electronics 20. Appendix 5: Information for Families
V. Pharmacies 21. Appendix 6: Trips in and around Israel
VI. Mattresses and Beds
VII. Photos, Art and Framing
Map of Stuff made by MSIH students!!!
VIII. Baking/Party Supplies
10. Services
I. Tailoring
II. Dry Cleaning
III. Beauty
While life in Beer Sheva is probably safer than most American cities, there are still a few things to keep in mind.

 Be aware of your surroundings.
 Never leave your bags unattended. Although never done in Be’er Sheva, police regularly explode unattended bags
in other major cities. It’s cool to watch unless it’s your bag.
 Always lock your apartments (even when you’re home, some suggest).
 Don’t leave a spare key outside your apartment in an obvious hiding spot.
 Always check the peephole at your apartment if you aren’t expecting someone and ask what they need before
opening the door.
 Lock up your bike. Petty theft is not uncommon. Many students have had their locked bikes stolen.

Police and security guys are allowed to search your stuff. Campus security will want to see your school ID or passport. At
the university campus, transit stations, some stores, and large public places, a security guard at the door will perform a
cursory bag check or wave a security wand. It just takes a moment, and it’s done for your safety and peace of mind. At
Soroka, you can bypass the security line by showing your BGU or ASRAN ID badges. The train stations will x-ray your
bag and occasionally may ask to see your passport.


 100 Police (Hebrew: Mishtarah) Relevant security-related info is available on their website There is no separate non-emergency number; call 100 when you need the police for both
emergency and non-emergency situations.
 Tourist Police 035165382
 101 Ambulance (Magen David Adom)
 102 Fire
 106 City Coordinator – reporting noise complaints, power/water outages, downed trees, etc.
 MSIH Staff, Main office: 086479909
 American Embassy: (011 972 3)–519–7475 (035197475 within Israel), after hours 035197551
 Canadian Embassy: (011 972 3) 6363300
 School psychologist: Dr. Itzhak Lander /, +972544357765 (text message).
(See Healthcare for more details)

Truth be told, if you follow the safety procedures then you’re quite safe in Be’er Sheva from rocket attacks. Each year,
falling coconuts and other goofy causes of death kill more people than rockets in Israel. There are plenty of shelters, you
normally have plenty of warning time to get to one, and the iron dome antimissile defense system is awesome at catching
things that are heading toward populated areas. Follow the safety procedures below to avoid unnecessary risks and the
possibility of falling rocket bits.
1. In the event of a siren, choose a shelter you can get to in 60 seconds. Do not get in an elevator. If you are with
Israelis, follow them and listen to their instructions as to how to choose cover.
2. In a building, find a shelter/mamad/safe room. If you don’t have one of these, choose an internal corridor or a
stairwell. Try to be two floors down from the top of the building but avoid the ground floor since lobbies often
have lots of glass. When you are out walking, try to look for a large public neighborhood shelter called a
“meeklat”. Avoid standing near any windows or west facing walls. Sit on the floor against a wall.
3. If you are out in the open and not near a building, the most important thing to do is get low. Laying on the ground
face down and covering your head with your hands will protect you from almost everything but a direct hit. Any
short wall, curb, or elevated surface you can put between you and Gaza is bonus points.
4. Wait for a couple of minutes after the siren finishes before you leave your shelter. Expect at least one boom. This
is normal. You’ll notice many Israelis will go right back to their normal lives like nothing happened, and you
should too.
Rocket fire affects everyone differently. Pay attention to your feelings and talk about them with your support network or
MSIH staff/counsellors.

Obviously the second most important thing to safety is wifi. In Israel, to get access to the web you need two types of
service. Why two? Because one would just be too efficient. Basically, it would create a singularity and... nevermind. The
first type is the infrastructure, which is the physical wire/connection to your house. The major companies for this are HOT
(the cable company) and Bezeq (the phone company). The second type is the internet service provider (ISP) and you’ll
pay this company to send data over their network to the Internet at large. There are many ISPs, such as Netvision, Internet
Zahav, and others. More info:
 4phonesinternetandtv.html
Because much of the traffic has to be relayed back to the States, many websites are a little bit slower and thus it’s
suggested to get a slightly faster connection at least 5 Mbps especially if you want to try to stream video. There are several
packages to choose from and the liaisons can help you choose and call to get it set up. Total cost should be ~125
NIS/month or less.


Certain USbased websites, such as Hulu, Pandora, HBOGo & Netflix, restrict foreign users because of media licensing
issues. Download the Firefox or Chrome proxy extension from* for access to Hulu, Pandora and Netflix.
For other websites, use a proxy (free & faster, when they work, but often get flagged and blocked by Hulu etc.) or a VPN
(slower but more reliable, try Hola). All major US universities offer current students free access to a VPN so google
“Boston University proxy” or whatever and ask a friend or sibling for their password and some universities even give free
access to alumni.
*MediaHint automatically hijacks your browser’s proxy settings when visiting specifically these three websites and makes
it appear that you’re in the States. However, as long as MediaHint is enabled, your browser can’t use any other proxy. For
example, if you want to use the BGU proxy to access library resources, you need to disable MediaHint by going to
settings and clicking “disable.” Alternatively, you can just use a different browser like Safari or Explorer for accessing the

Map of B7:
Trip planning: Google Maps has all the Israeli bus and train schedules. For driving directions, the app Waze works a little
better. There’s also a decent iPhone app called “” for use on the go; it’s reliable but not particularly user friendly.
Rav Kav: Student discounts exist for many train and bus routes. To get them, you must have a rav kav smart card. To get
a student rav kav, you need a letter of enrollment that will come from Gaby/Marissa. Your student ID will not be enough
to prove your studentness. When you get the magic document, take it and your passport to either a mobile rav kav cart in a
station or to the little building between the central bus station and the train station (Henkin 1). The little building is open
Sundays - Thursdays, 08:30 to 15:30,, or *5100 You can load all your tickets onto the rav kav and
get around public transport with quick swipes. A regular RavKav can be converted to a student RavKav at any time.
Bikes: Biking is extremely popular in Beersheva, particularly amongst students the BGU campus sometimes resembles
bike parking more than a university! You can get anywhere in the city in less than 15 minutes on a bike, and you’ll turn
long walks into short trips. Just be careful about locking your bike with a good lock. And wear a helmet.
Taxis: All taxis in Beer Sheva charge 20-30 NIS per ride no matter where in town you are going, but you should
confirm/negotiate this before setting off, just in case. Sometimes they will charge extra for luggage, particularly if you use
the roof rack, but you can bargain with them if that is the case. On Shabbat and late night, the fares are raised to 30-35 nis.
Taxis are cash only, and you don't have to tip the drivers. It’s a good idea to keep a few dispatchers' phone numbers. Upon
calling, a taxi can be dispatched to your location for free, 24/7. Call 086434343 or 086209090 (operates on Shabbat) or
just ask any driver for his card. The app Gett is similar to Uber and is normally pretty good interms of rates rates and is
helpful in ordering a taxi if you don’t speak Hebrew.
Buses: There is an extensive bus route around the city. Fares are currently 4 NIS per ride. (It’s a good idea to bring the
agorot (cents); Drivers might not accept bills larger than 20 NIS.) Most buses run between 6am and 10pm or later, but
frequencies vary by route and time of day, from every 8 minutes to once/hour. Google maps is pretty good, but you can
also check:
2. Egged:
3. Metropoline:
4. Dan
(For a list of lines see Appendix 3: Bus Routes)


Trains: Trains frequently have wifi, outlets, bathrooms, less motion sickness, more comfortable seating then buses, and
they don’t get stuck in traffic. There are two train stops in the city. One is the North/University station near the sports
center, and one is at Beer Sheva Merkaz (Center) near the Central Bus Station. There are only northbound trains (towards
TelAviv) out of Beer Sheva (except for Dimona), and they generally run once an hour. On Fridays, the last train leaves
around 12:30pm and train service resumes approximately 1-2 hours after Shabbat ends on Saturdays. When using the
train, you should keep your ticket handy as they are often checked by train staff and it will be required to exit the station.
This is the main website for trains all over the country: it’s available in English and has detailed
schedule information and trip planning.
Buses: The bus is generally slightly cheaper than the train, runs more frequently, runs later, will get you to southern cities,
and is sometimes faster. Some will even have wifi. Tickets can be purchased from the driver (except to/from Eilat) and
exact change is not needed.
The Central Bus Station (CBS) is behind the Kanyon HaNegev mall on Rager. When taking TelAviv/Jerusalem bound
buses from Beer Sheva, board the bus at the CBS or at certain stops along Rager Blvd. Returning to Beer Sheva, you can
get off at any stop on Rager.
Common Intercity Bus Routes from Beer Sheva: Tel Aviv Central Bus Station: 370 Tel Aviv Arlozeroff Station: 380
(Note: same as Tel Aviv Savidor Merkaz train station) Jerusalem Central Bus Station: 470 Ashkelon 363/364 (the beach!)
Eilat 392/394/397 must purchase tickets in advance from the Egged ticket window. Sherut: Sheruts are minibuses that
provide transport to most major cities in Israel. The sherut stand is located outside the CBS. There are sheruts to Tel Aviv,
Ashkelon, and Ashdod that run on holidays and Shabbat.
Rideshare (Tremp): This is a popular alternative to other forms of transport. Ride sharers get the comfort & convenience
of a car ride; drivers split the cost of gas. BGU has an active online bulletin board for ride sharing info. (Translate via web browser.)
(For a detailed list of fun day trips see Appendix 6: Trips in and around Israel)
Israel has one international airport: Ben Gurion in Tel Aviv (TLV). Depending on when you want to travel, you may find
good deals to travel abroad. Students have traveled to Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Cypress, Greece, Italy, Spain, France,
Switzerland, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Poland, Georgia, India, Thailand, etc. etc. etc.
Great flight search aggregators:
Low cost airlines:
Last minute travel deals:
 (Hebrew translate)
 (Hebrew translate)
Traveling to Jordan (Aqaba, Petra, Wadi Rum, Amman, etc.): Visas are no longer issued at the border crossing between
Eilat and Aqaba. The Jordanian consulate is located at 14 Revov Abba Silver, a short walk from the Savidor train station.
10th floor. Hours are 9 until 1 or 2:30, depending on who you ask. A visa costs 360 NIS, and you have to leave your
passport for a few hours while they do their thing. Bon voyage!
Traveling to Egypt (Cairo, Dahab, Taba, Egyptian beach camps, etc.): Take bus No. 390 or 394 to Eilat (4 hours) and a
taxi to the Egyptian border (15 minutes). There are public buses, minibuses, and taxis once you cross the border. It's
another 3-4 hours to Dahab by public bus. Dahab is a great place for diving. It's an 8-hour bus or minibus ride to Cairo
from the Israel-Egypt border. The approximate cost of all roundtrip transportation to Dahab city (including buses in Israel,
taxis to/from the border, border crossing fees for each country, shared taxi to/from Dahab) is around $100-150 USD. Note
that you will need to get a visa to go anywhere in Egypt besides Dahab and the Sinai. Visas can be acquired at the
embassy in Tel Aviv or at the consulate in Eilat.
**It's a good idea to check the US embassy websites for travel warnings, especially considering recent political events in
neighboring countries**

Most neighborhoods (schuna) are named by letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Bet and Gimel, and, to a lesser extent, Dalet,
are by far the most popular for MSIH students because of their proximity to Soroka/BGU, but there are students who live
in other neighborhoods as well.

- North of the Old City, south of Derech HaMeshahrerim
- Walking time: 25-30-minute walk to class
- Features: Great access to the Old City/downtown

- North of Derech HaMeshahrerim; south of Schuna Dalet (Derech Metsada); west of Rager
- Walking time: 10-15 minute walk to class
- Features: Close to Soroka, many new apartment buildings and shops
- Along Rager and Ya’akov Cohen, there are many brand-new apartment buildings, shops, and cafes. The Avisror
Building Developers have built four (4) luxury apartment buildings on Rager. These are going to be more
expensive compared to the average student housing in Be’er Sheva, but MUCH cheaper than what you’d pay in
cities like New York or Tel Aviv. The apartments are spacious, comfortable, and clean. The buildings have a
small, limited fitness room and a small games room.
- Arzie HaNegev is building a few new apartment buildings as well, comparable to the Avisror buildings.

- South and east of the Soroka hospital; south of Sderot Ben Gurion; east of Rager
- 5-15-minute walk to class
- Features: Close to Soroka, the Sports Center & Pool and the Faculty of Health Sciences/Caroline House. There
are a few shopping complexes in two sections of Gimel. One is on Wingate/Aleph-Lamed Zissu, where there is a
fruit and vegetable stand, bakery, and supermarket. Farther down at Wingate/HaShalom, there is a small
supermarket open on Shabbat. The Machsenei HaShuk, Victory, and Sufersal Deal supermarkets are a 15-20-
minute walk from the center of Gimel. A bit south of Wingate on Arlozorov/HaShalom, there is a hardware store,
a home supplies store, bakery, shawarma, fruit-veg stand #2 and a 24/7 convenience store appropriately named
- Rent here is generally inexpensive and there are several options for single and shared apartments for students.
Conveniently located to get to/from school and the hospital but father from restaurants.

- South of Soroka hospital; north of Shazar and the Big mall; East of Rager and West of Jabotinsky and Arlozorov
- 10-20-minute walk (using back-alley shortcuts)
- Features: 15-20 min walk to BIG, the Shuk, and the CBS. Neighborhood feel with many families with children
living in the area. Several small neighborhood stores and fruit stands where you can get the basics and everyone
knows everyone. Very culturally and religiously diverse area.
- There is a great Falafel/Shwarma stand and a variety of other stores at the intersection of HaShalom and
- Rent in this neighborhood tends to be comparable to Dalet and it is easy to find an apartment or whole house with
a yard and fruit trees in this area, especially if you’re shopping with roommates.

- North of Derech Metsada; west of Rager
- 10-20-minute walk
- Features: Cheaper rent, large Russian/immigrant population, less of the big city, highrise feel like Bet (i.e. more
of a closer community feeling). At the corner of Avraham Avinu and David HaMelech streets is Merkaz Gilat,
featuring a bakery, two vegetable markets, a small but well stocked supermarket, post office, ATM, shawarma
and pizza places. Further north, at the intersection of Rager and Avraham Avinu is the much larger Merkaz Oren,
which includes a Bank HaPoalim, a Mega Supermarket, a Laundromat, pizza shops, falafel/shawarma, and more.
In the southern part of Dalet, you can find an extensive produce market (cash only) on Rabbi Akiva St, as well as
a bakery and convenience store. Also, in Southern Dalet just north of Derech Metsada is Merkaz HaNegev with a
few restaurants and some nightlife.
- A lot of bars are concentrated in the area, as well as a delicious hummus place.

- East of Rager; North of the BGU main campus
- 15-20-minute walk
- Features: Great access to BGU main campus; Close to Ringelbloom St
- The most college-towny of them all
- Neighborhood alone has 4 bars and 7 restaurants!!! (booze, sushi, Indian food, Hummus, Pizza, Fish and chips,
shawarma, burgers, pasta, bakery and more!!!)
- Don't be fooled when walking around. Many of the buildings are extremely old but the apartments themselves are
- Affordable and fun
- Lots of colorful characters – an old man that comes and sells fish out of his van with a megaphone

- Northwest of the old city; south of Metsada
- 30-45-minute walk away from campus, more of a bus distance
- Features: Large Anglo observant Jewish community and good shuls

- Northeast of BGU and the railroad
- 10-minute bike to school from Upper Ramot or a 30-minute walk
- 5-minute bike to school from Lower Ramot, 15-minute walk
- Ramot is at the top of a hill. This means heading back home will take double time, at a minimum. Keep in mind
that biking 20 minutes up a slowly increasing incline in 100+ Fahrenheit weather is not for the faint of heart,
which will only get you to Lower Ramot.
- Ramot is the oldest of the newest neighborhoods in Be’er Sheva. Lots of nice homes, a few parks, scattered
supermarkets, and upper-middle class families.
- Overlooks the city, great views and great breeze in the evenings. Trees and a few green spaces.
- Generally more expensive and less availability than Dalet or Gimmel.
- Buses run throughout and will drop you off in front of the gym and across from Campus (2 minute stroll). Less
buses than other neighborhoods, though.
- Bottom Line: Nicer than almost any other area in the city, but a little farther, definitely more expensive, and be
ready to break a sweat daily getting home.

- North of Metsada St, West of Dalet Neighborhood and Rager
- Walk is 20-30 minutes; Bike or bus recommended (line 12 off Metsada arrives every 10 minutes).
- Features: Really good for families, quiet neighborhood. Park of the Australian Soldier has a jungle gym for
children and plenty of grassy area for relaxation. Many apartments are renovated. Mivza Uvda Street has a really
good shawarma/falafel stand called “Pepe Leon”, adjacent to a Georgian bakery (delicious fresh bread every day).
Close to the Grand Canyon Mall.


As a registered student, you will receive an email address. This is a Google Apps account, so it has the
exact same interface as Gmail. Because it’s a school email address, you get a double wide google drive account with 30
GB. You will get your username and password for this account when you arrive on campus in July. This is the same
username & password that you’ll use to sign into all of the BGU computer systems including public computers, campus
WiFi, and Moodle. Many students opt to forward this email to their personal email account.
The school creates a class address which forwards to everyone’s “official” BGU email accounts. The address is msih- and anybody on the list can email out using their official school email account. You must send mail
as or the message will be blocked from the list. You can use this to email your class but
remember that all messages will be seen by members of the administration, so keep it official and school related.
Google group: Most classes opt to use a separate Google group listserv ( for non-school related
class issues. We suggest you create one for yourselves. The format other classes have used is: Someone from your class (of 2021) will need to volunteer to be the owner/admin of the
group and invite everyone using their personal email addresses. Officially, email addresses are
incompatible with Google groups due to administrative restrictions, but there are workarounds if someone insists on using
their BGU email. As with any listserv, participants can choose how often to receives emails sent to the group. A google
group is useful for sharing documents on google drive. Share it with the Google Group email address, and automatically
everyone in the Google Group will be able to edit all items in that folder. Same goes for Google Calendars, YouTube
videos that you only want to share with the class, Google Sites (if you want to make a private class website), etc.


Most of the BGU campus and library have WiFi that you can access. Instructions to get connected are included in your
welcome packet that you’ll get when you arrive. Some library resources (like access to online medical journals &
textbooks) require that you have a BGU IP address. You can do this by being on campus, or by using a proxy (which
bounces your browser internet traffic off of a BGU computer to make it look like you are on campus). Both your MSIH
welcome packet and the Library website give instructions for PC, but as of writing this the Mac instructions are totally
incorrect. Go to for a guide to BGU proxy on Mac & iPhones/Pads.

If your computer is under warranty and requires service, it will likely need to be sent back to the States or to specific
repair shops, Mac & PC alike. However, for computers out of warranty, there are many PC repair shops in Beer Sheva.
There is an Apple store in Tel Aviv and a third-party company (iDigital) in Be’er Sheva but in general, getting a Mac
repaired may be considerably harder.

- Medical faculty computer technicians (PC only). You can go to them with any problems and they can often fix it
or at least diagnose you and send you on to a larger computer service store. They generally don't charge for
service and most kinds of software. You could save hundreds of dollars by coming here first!
- Location: Faculty Building (where you have all your computer lab sessions). The office is located on the 1st floor,
down a small corridor behind the main elevator. Contact: Shimon (very nice, good English): 086477398
- Ivory One of the largest computer service companies in Israel. Two locations in Beer Sheva: 21 Shazaar Ave, Beit
Noam and one in the Grand Kanyon. They provide service and computer parts.

- iDigital The Applecertified store in Be’er Sheva ( will honor international warranties but
may charge fees anyway. The authorized apple distributor who owns iDigital is Both
pages require using Chrome to translate.

Whether you’re observant or not, shabbat in “Ha’aretz” (“The Land”, Israel) is a unique experience. Most stores close and
public transportation doesn’t run, so you’ll need to plan ahead a bit. The basic idea is that Shabbat is a day of rest starting
on Friday at sundown and ending Saturday at sundown. Jews are not supposed to be doing work, using electricity,
conducting transactions or a number of other things, including tearing toilet paper (pretear!). Instead, Jews are supposed to
spend time with the people they love, take leisurely walks to services, study torah, eat lots of festive meals and play board
Someone who adheres to these laws on shabbat is said to be “keeping shabbat” or “shomer shabbat.” Whether you’re
shomer shabbat or choose not to be is perfectly fine. (Probably) no one will throw rocks at you in Beersheva for driving
around in a car wrapped in christmas lights while you wear a daisy dukes and eat bacon cheddar melts. In fact, you’ll
probably be able to find a sizable crowd of friends who want to do it with you. My point is, do what you want and it’s
You will definitely attend a lot of Friday night shabbat dinners with classmates, friends, and sometimes faculty. If you
bring something, you understandably want everyone to be able to enjoy it so here are a few cursory words about the
encyclopedic kosher laws. First, ask the dinner host what they want you to bring. They may ask you to pick up a loaf of
challah bread, or some wine, fruit, or soda. If you want to try something fancier, like (oooh!) cutting up salad, you’ll need
a knife, cutting surface, and carrying container that are kosher. Glass, single use plastic plates and utensils, and single use
aluminum foil or baking trays are always kosher. So yes, you can spread out some aluminum foil, cut up some fruit or
veggies with a plastic knife and put them in a glass bowl. You can also kosher your utensils by submerging them in
boiling water for 15 seconds, or you can ask to come cook in a friend’s kosher kitchen with their stuff. If you make
something even fancier involving meat or dairy or baking you’ll need to know a few more laws beyond the scope of this
Closures start Friday around 2-4pm and end Saturday evening around 5-9pm. Most stores, supermarkets, corner stores,
vegetable stands, bakeries, falafel, and many restaurants close. Most entrances to the university close (though Soroka
entrances are open 24/7). All local and regional transportation, including trains, buses, and rental car offices are closed,
but you may find taxis (that charge more on shabbat), sheruts (shared taxi vans) to Tel Aviv, as well as taxis willing to
make the intercity trips for high prices.
Also, be aware that most holidays will either operate on a Friday or Saturday schedule so be sure to download a Jewish
calendar to make sure you don’t get stuck with an empty fridge on a multiday countrywide holiday. (On big holidays,
even the locations listed below will most likely be closed!)
What is Open? It may seem like everything is closed, but that’s just not true. Here are the exceptions:
Stores: A few local convenience stores (Ba’Pina in Bet), Tiv Ta’am including its two restaurants, Ace Hardware &
HomeCenter, Golf & Co, Office Depot, SuperPharm, and a few other stores at the BIG.
Restaurants: Coca, Midbar, Lola Café, Spaghettim, Irish Pub, Siesta Café, HaSifria, Kampai, Agadir, PitPut (BIG
location), Aroma Café (BIG location), Black Burger & Bar, Tiv Ta’am’s restaurants (Churrasco and Street Food),
Yogurteria, Aldo’s, Glida Beer Sheva.
Restaurants that deliver on Shabbat: Midbar & Dominos.
Bars & clubs: Many are open, though sometimes not until 9pm Friday, including Rozza, Einstein, Coca, Arlozerof 54,
Baraka, HaSifria, Draft, Forum.
Activities: The Sport Center & pool, Globus Max movie theater, bowling, Interpool (billiards).
Study spaces: The Caroline House, Student Center (BGU main campus, building 70) are always open 24 hours, PhD
study space, Cafés such as Lola are very popular Shabbat study locations.


If you don’t know how to cook, it’s a great time to learn! Give yourself a few hours to become acquainted with the
supermarkets, corner stores, and your local fruit/vegetable stand. These stands offer the most affordable food items in
Beer Sheva. Unlike in the States, fresh produce in Israel is cheap and packaged goods are expensive. You can walk away
with bags of produce for the same price as a box of cereal. The Shuk (central market) can be fun to explore, it has the best
prices on fruits and vegetables, and absorbing all the noises and smells and yelling in Hebrew, Arabic and Russian is a
quintessential Beer Sheva cultural experience.
You might find it tricky in the beginning to learn where you can track down certain items. The Israeli liaisons will take
you to a major grocery store during orientation and help you navigate the store. You might feel compelled to do a lot of
shopping right away, but it might be easier to carry heavy or perishable things home from your local store. Use the trip to
look for things you want and if you have trouble finding something, the liaisons can help. The big supermarkets are also
convenient for cheap housewares (towels, etc.) that you may not have carried to Israel.
Stores carry most of the same food items that you have back home, but sometimes it’s hard to decipher the packaging and
choose amongst the many brands (particularly for dairy), so be prepared for some trial-and-error. Some examples of prior
confusion include: sour cream sold in yogurt containers, cottage cheese vs white cheese, milk sold in bags, banana milk is
not egg-nog, soy meat, strawberry marshmallows only (no white ones), weird chocolate chips, lack of baking chocolate,
and things you didn’t know you had to rehydrate.
Seasonal foods: Unlike in the States, sometimes you’ll find items only when they actually grow. Summer to Fall: mango,
grapes, plums, figs, cherries, watermelon, melon, pomegranates Fall to Winter: squash, citrus, pomelos, apples, pears,
sweet potato, pomegranates, broccoli Winter to Spring: strawberries, citrus, zucchini Spring to Summer: peaches,
nectarine, citrus, zucchini, cherries, apricots, watermelon

All supermarkets are Kosher except Tiv Ta’am. Of the markets listed here, most MSIH students prefer Eden Teva, Tiv
Ta’am, and Supersal Deal.
- Supersal – not always best selection but good enough. Also called Shufersal:
o Supersal Express – Ya’akov Cohen right off of Rager near the South End of Soroka. Groceries here are
usually more expensive than they are at the larger Supersal Deal on Rager.
o Supersal Deal – Rager (near Courthouse/Mall) is a large supermarket with a wide range of items, usually
the busiest, and variable quality produce long lines. People will try to cut in front of you, be prepared.
o Shufersal G – Directly next to the main train station
- HaOrgim zone – Off Sderot Ben Gurion, (~1 km southeast of the Sport Center) has a cheese and meat counter,
much less busy
- Victory – Similar to Supersal but without the warehouse feel. This could be the closest grocery store if you live in
Gimmel as there’s a shortcut through a park at the end of Wingate. It’s located on Ben Gurion past the train
station on the left.
- Rami Levi –This is the cheapest supermarket. It is large with a wider variety of foods than in Supersal Dil. It is in
the BIG center
- Tiv Ta’am – This is an expensive, non-kosher market, open 7 days a week has a large variety of international
items you won’t find elsewhere, including non-kosher (pork, seafood, etc.) products, and bread and beer during


For all of your fresh food needs, including fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts, honeycomb, cheese, meat, baked goods, etc.
● Open every day except Shabbat
● Definitely the cheapest option around, especially for fruits & veggies
● Location: Between the Central Bus Station and the Old City

Don’t want to carry all those bags home? At the checkout line, major stores will offer to deliver your purchase for a small
fee, and some allow you to order online (in Hebrew) so you never have to leave home.
- Mega: 19NIS online, Supersal 28NIS (free over 750NIS purchase). When you’re at the cash register, ask for
“mishlo’ach,” but know that the service is only offered until ~4 or 5 pm (earlier cutoffs on Shabbat and holiday eve).
Online stores charge more for the food in addition to the delivery fee

There’s a surprising number of really quality restaurants in Beersheva and a significant amount of variety. Some
restaurants have English menus (tafrit anglit) and if they don’t, the servers are usually more than happy to help you
translate. You’ll also find many places offer students a discount. For redundancy, we’ve also made a list of restaurants in
Appendix 2: Giant restaurant listing.
Here’s an abbreviated list of eateries in the MSIH area:
 Soroka Campus/Faculty of Health Sciences – good for lunch or snack during school
o ‘Fake’ Aroma and store ($$) overpriced, but the closest facility to the 6th floor
o Carnaf ($) good value for salads, soup, sandwiches, paninis (called toasts)
o Located in the Health Sciences Campus near the Caroline House
o MSIH Favorite!
o Soroka Employee Cafeteria ($) very cheap; full meal for just 15 NIS
 Location: Old Surgical building, ground floor across from Coffee Time
 Must first buy an entry ticket (ASRAN Medical ID required) at the desk near Hospital
Admissions in the New Surgery Building
o Coffee Time Cafés ($) coffee, pastries, bagels, prepackaged sandwiches
 BGU Main Campus also good for lunches/food while studying on campus
o Main Cafeteria ($$) several daily specials, salads, shawarma, pasta. Building 70
o Carnaf ($) salad, soup, and sandwich place. Building 28
o Dalali ($$) Mediterranean food, hummus, grilled chicken/meats salads. Building 32
o Pizza/Ice cream ($) – Brand new eatery. Building 74
o Aroma ($$) more expensive, but great coffees, salads, sandwiches. Building 74 School area
 These places are convenient to where most MSIH students live:
o Ringlebloom St: just a few blocks north of the BGU Main Campus
 Hodu HaKatana ($$) Indian food
 Soyami ($$) Sushi/Japanese
 Zygota ($$) – burgers & seafood (not kosher)
 Ringelbloom Café ($$) Italian/Mediterranean, very good
 Ashan Hazman bar/cafe, sometimes with live music
 La Flambée ($$) Crepes
o Yosef ben Matityahu Street, just north of campus Arlozerov St.
 Einstein Pub ($$) attached to the Sports Center
 Coca Pub ($$)
 Chooka ($$) sushi and stir frys. A good choice for a delivery
 Munchilla/Kazma ($$) Hookah/nargila bar w/ pub food
o Merkaz HaNegev On Metsada St, across Rager Ave from Soroka
 Irit (Irish Pub) ($$)
 Midbar ($$) burgers, pasta, sushi
 Rozza Pub ($$)
 Manga Pub ($$)
 Various falafel/schnitzel/hummus stands ($) Metsada St
 Ishimoto ($$) Sushi
 There are many restaurants also found throughout the city, mostly in the BIG, One Plaza, and the Old City. Here
are some MSIH favorites:
o Kampai the BIG
o HaSifria – One Plaza
o Avaz HaZahav – the BIG (behind Siesta Cafe)
o Arabica – Hertzel/HaAvot, Old City
o PitPut – Hertzl/Rambam, Old City
o Panda Noodles – Kakal St, Old City
o Pizza Al Gehalim Kakal St *Best Pizza in Beer Sheva*
o Lola Café – Smilansky St, Old City, very popular study spot. Formerly Gecko Café
o Café Hillel – One Plaza
o Jonny Crispy – One Plaza Cold Treats (a must for the first couple months)
o Glida Beer Sheva the original Beer Sheva ice cream/gelato shop, lots of flavors
o BGU Main Campus (Bdlg 72)
o Old City: HaHalutz / Stern
o The BIG (center of parking lot)
o One Plaza (center of parking lot)
o Aldo across from the train station, next to Supersal; also good gelato and waffles
o Yogurt on Ringlebloom
o Yogurt in the Old City on Herzl (frozen yogurt with limitless toppings)
o Yogurteria across from One Plaza (froyo with limitless toppings, open on Shabbat)
 Two restaurants (Street Food and Churrasco) featuring great 35 NIS meals for students.
o Eden Teva Market – Newly opened, organic, “Whole Foods” style market with the widest range of
international food items and great “bulk” buys. Very popular with MSIH.
 On Derech Hevron, west of the BIG, under the bowling alley/Interpool
 More expensive but often higher quality. Lots of imports.
 Quick serve restaurant inside (like Whole Foods)
o Machsani HaShuk notable for its locations:
 Just past the Shuk on Beit Eshel St, can easily combine with a trip to the Shuk.
 HaOrgim with the other supermarkets

You can buy almost anything here, but often the variety and availability of particular brands is lacking. Everything is
subject to a 18% sales tax, which is already included in the printed prices you’ll see in stores (no tax surprises at the
register, which applies to restaurants too). Additionally, imported items, such as some electronics, American/European
goods, etc. are very expensive.
Club Cards Many stores offer a discount ‘Club Card’ (Hebrew: Cartis Moadon) that entitle holders to small discounts and
special sales. Generally, there is an upfront cost of about 60 NIS, but often the savings you recoup in a single large
purchase justifies this. The cards are tied to your ID number (Hebrew: Teudat Zeut) so you don’t have to carry them at all
times just give the cashier your ID number at checkout. Sometimes, students share cards. Popular cards: Eden Teva
Market, Mega, Tiv Ta’am (Note: Eden has been cracking down on card sharing.) There is an online directory (English!)
of many stores in the city:
General: There are a few main shopping areas:
1. The BIG – major retail center of Beer Sheva.
 Location: Derech Hevron, about 1.5km east of Rager/Shazar
 One Plaza Newer, more upscale version of the BIG.
 Clothes, groceries, restaurants, furniture, household items, books, bowling, etc.
 Some stores open on Shabbat
 Lots of clothing, eateries, Globus Max (movies)
2. Sderah Shivit aka 7th Avenue Mall
 Location: Derech Hevron, hidden between the BIG / Tiv Ta’am and Old City (Kakal, Hertzel, HaHalutz
 This is where the expensive import clothing is sold. Ralph Lauren Polo, Abercrombie, Top Shop, many
others. Very pleasant, also has cafés.
 Lots of variety, many family owned businesses, good prices.
3. Kanyon HaNegev Mall typical indoor mall (great A/C in the summer)
 Location: Rager/Derech Eilat next to the Central Bus Station.
 Large selection of Israeli & European clothing brands
 Many kinds of stores, food court
4. Grand KanyonAdvertised as “The 2nd Biggest Mall in the Middle East”
 Location: Tuviyahu and Metsada, West Side of Town
 Lots of stores for clothing, electronics, and even a grocery store

The AMSA SALE: Every year the AMSA board organizes a sale in which departing upperclassmen sell their stuff to the
incoming class. This is an important chance to save a ton of money! Everything is available including kitchen items,
office chairs, housewares, decorations etc. Everything is very cheap and some items are even free! There is no guarantee
of what will be available, but we strongly advise you to avoid buying anything until after the sale. It will be held soon
after the 2nd years arrive. Wait for an email. Ideally you will already have a place and know what you need, but even if
this is not the case it is worthwhile to buy things such as kitchen items.

 ACE Hardware – in the BIG complex. They have all household essentials and furniture. Open on Shabbat.
 HomeCenter – in the BIG, full of household items, open on Shabbat
 Fox Home, Golf & Co – fashionable housewares & bedding
 Friday morning market in the Old City Rabin Square/Kakal St has cheap housewares.
 There are lots of small shops in the old city. Go wander around for a day!
 The Akademon Student Store (basement of the Student Center, bldg. 70) on the BGU campus is surprisingly
useful and well-priced for school supplies, electronics, toiletries, etc.
 IKEA – New store in Beer Sheva! Some students rent/borrow a car and make a big trip to get furniture
 Superstock (Yaacov Cohen, Schunat Bet). Has everything under the sun from cleaning supplies to baking
appliances and school supplies.

 Office Depot at the BIG center or at Kanyon HaNegev Mall
 The Akademon Student Store
 Nice stationary shop in Gimel on HaShalom/Arlozeroff across from the post office
 Superstock (Yaacov Cohen, Schunat Bet). Has everything under the sun from cleaning supplies to baking
appliances and school supplies.

Most have sections for English books, including travel guides (but they’re expensive!)
 Steimatsky’s and Tzomet Seferim are Israel’s main bookstore chains
 Main Campus attached to Aroma Café (bldg. 74)
 Soroka just inside the Metsada entrance to the hospital (near security station)
 Kanyon HaNegev Mall
 The BIG adjacent to Siesta Café
 Sderah Shivit (7th Ave)
 Grand Kanyon
 Superstock (Yaacov Cohen, Schunat Bet). Has everything under the sun from cleaning supplies to baking
appliances and school supplies.


 Aluf Sport in the BIG, 086654726
 Sports store adjacent to Globus Max movie theater in the One Plaza
 The major bike store is in the Old City at HaHalutz/Smilansky; new & used bikes.
 Aluf Sport Bike Shop at the BIG 086654726
 TREK has a factory store on Derech Hevron (industrial zone/flour mill)
 1599500689, 086237988
 Schuna Bet: Off of Bialik near the produce market. Has small selection new and used bikes. Great service, very
 Schuna Dalet: In Merkaz HaNegev off Metsada St. (behind Bank Leumi)


 Eden Teva Market in the BIG
 Beer Teva on the side of the Leonardo Hotel Camping, hiking, & outdoor sports equipment
 Ricochet in the BIG across from FOX and Golf & Co.
 L’Metayel – under Keren Towers near Gong

 Machsani Hashmal near McDonalds at the BIG
 Office Depot (Locations at the BIG and Kanyon HaNegev)
 BUG Electronics store at Kanyon HaNegev or Sderah Shivit (7th Ave)
 Big Box at the One Plaza Cell Phones Cellcom, Orange, Pelephone, Golan Telecom
o The closest branches are at Kanyon HaNegev Mall on Rager
o Main Branches at the BIG where you can buy a phone/plan and go for service.

 Superpharm locations:
o Derech HaMeshahrerim (near the stadium, open 7 days until 00:30am)
o The BIG
o Kanyon HaNegev (open till 23:30 ST, ‘til 17:00 Fri, closed Saturday )
 NewPharm locations:
o One Plaza
o Sderah Shivit
 Kupat Holim (HMO/Insurance) Pharmacies (prescriptions only)
o Most Clalit clinics have pharmacies attached
o Soroka adjacent to Coffee Time in the Old Surgical building (near cafeteria) – open during hospital
visiting hours
o Kupat Holim Gimel – 8:00-13:00, 16:00-19:00


 Used mattresses & beds are very commonly advertised online for great prices,
 Buying new? Prices for a double (140x190 cm standard size here) range from 900-4000 NIS, frames start at 300
NIS for a basic model, delivery is ~150 NIS.
 Mattress stores are scattered throughout the city, including several at the BIG Many students used HaMizronayim
(Sderot Shazar 21, tel. 086234028) Same day/next day delivery, overly friendly salesman (Moshe). If you leave
the plastic on, you can exchange it within a few days.


 Photo Campus – BGU bldg. 70 basement. Prints, passport pics, frames, supplies
 Fotoshop (Kanyon HaNegev Mall)
 Leon Digital (HaHalutz/Stern, Old City)
o Custom Framing reasonable prices for custom glass/wood frames, all sizes. Corner of HaAtzmaut/Mordei
HaGetaot in the Old City.
 HobbyLi (Henrietta Szold and Rager in Gimel) A hobby store for most of your DIY needs.

 A few stores next to HobbyLi in the mall on the north east corner of Henrietta Szold and Rager in Gimel.
 Superstock (Yaacov Cohen, Schunat Bet). Has everything under the sun from cleaning supplies to baking
appliances and school supplies.


There is a seamstress in the Negev mall (next to Castro on the ground floor). Her name is Ludmila and her number is
0508497906. There is another in the One Plaza behind the McDonalds (upstairs).

Rafi’s, located across from Roladin and the driveway to Tiv Ta’am on Derech Haebron.

Many options all over town! Yaniv Shriki. Speaks English. Very nice. 0507806800 or 086270494. Prices: 40-50 NIS for
guys and ~100 NIS for girls. Location: ground floor in the small mall near the courthouse. Also, Beber (Hebrew only, 30
NIS) in Merkaz Gilat (Dalet) is good, Itamar (Metsada St.) and Yuval Haddad (Sderah Shivit Mall) get good reviews.

Miri salon is very popular with BGU students. It is located at the intersection of Rager and Ben Gurion. They offer
manis/pedis/facials and laser hair removal, which runs about 1/3 of the cost compared to the US. 086499717.
Mani/pedi: Quick (15 min each). you can visit Laka Express in the HaNegev (Canyon) Mall on Rager and David
Tuviyahu Avenue, across from Central Bus Station. It’s a kiosk on the second story of the mall and does a really great job
that lasts for at least a week.
Laser hair removal:
 CARE – the general number to CARE is 086282233
 American Laser in the Grand Canyon Mall offers inexpensive life-time access for hair removal

Being sick is no fun and being in a foreign country when you’re sick usually doesn’t help. However, Israel has excellent
health care on a similar level to many European countries. Once you get used to it, you may be pleased with how easy it is
to get a rapid appointment or even a house call, to have zero copay, and to easily get free prescriptions of routine things.

If your insurance is through Harel, you can choose any Clalit clinic as your “home clinic.” There is one in just about every
neighborhood, and several are listed below. If you go to the clinic in person, they will assign you a doctor (ask for one
who speaks English many of them do). Ideally you should register at a clinic before you are sick, but if you don’t they will
still help you. Once you have selected a clinic and family doctor (all primary care providers are called Family Doctors
here) you will need to officially “transfer your folder” to switch to another clinic or another family doctor but the
reception desk of the clinic will help you with this. Soon after you arrive, you’ll receive information about your insurance
plan from Harel representatives, they’ll explain all the following in greater detail.
How to make an appointment: You can make an appointment by calling the phone number for your clinic (below), or by
dialing *2700 for primary care or 086292727 for a specialist. If you are having trouble with this, Marissa Miara in the MSIH
office can help you. There is also a clalit app which you can use to book appointments and track blood test results
When you get to the clinic: Arrive about 10 minutes early but be prepared to wait. There may be an automated check in
station or you may have to talk to the receptionist. To use the automated machine, swipe your clalit card, and press the
button indicating that you have an appointment (yesh li tor). Alternatively, go to the reception desk, hand them your
insurance card, and ask for a “petek amit.” This is a form your doctor will need in order to see you. Then go sit outside the
room where your doctor works. You may need to ask other patients waiting there what time their appointments are to
establish your place in line, as there will be no obvious line, and the doctor will not call your name. If no one is in line,
knock on the door, and the doctor will call you as soon as s/he is available.


Harel's health insurance provides for home visits on Shabbat. If you are sick on Shabbat, Friday evening to Saturday
evening, and go to one of the few open clinics, you will have to pay out of pocket, so don’t do it. Instead, you can call the
Harel dispatch (see below) and they will send a doctor to your house. Often, the visiting doctor will write a referral to the
Emergency Room (Hebrew: Miyun). Without the referral, going to the ER on Shabbat might incur a fee depending on
how urgent your illness is deemed. While pharmacies will not be open to fill any meds the doc might prescribe, home
doctors carry limited supplies of meds to tide you over until a pharmacy is open. The dispatch (National Call Center for
Harel) number is found in the Harel guide, or here: 1800414422. There is no additional charge for home visits.

Student center: There is also a student clinic in the student center on the main campus, room 237. You can make an
appointment in person or by calling 086283777 (press 1 at recorded message). If you have trouble with Hebrew, the
receptionist there also speaks English and is very helpful. Also, if it's a weekday, regardless of who your primary
physician is if you really need something fast such as antibiotics the student clinic can 'override' not being your primary
physician and get you prescriptions. This can be useful if your physician can't see you right away. A male gynecologist
(Dr Furma Boris) is available Tuesdays from 13:0015:30.
House call via Harel: Please contact the National Call Center of Harel Insurance Company 1800414422. Tell the
representative your Harel policy number and your Clalit card number. This service is provided free of charge 24 hours a
day. If you are too sick to attend an exam or other mandatory event, the school will not be very flexible with you unless
you have a note from a doctor. If you are too sick to go see a doctor, request a house call to obtain a note exempting you
from class.
Nighttime Medical Center: Bikur Rofe, 9 Ben Zvi St. (2nd floor of ‘Lev HaCity’ building, opposite the central train
station) Phone 086655559 Sun-Thurs 5:00PM8:00AM next day Fri 4:00PM-11:50PM Saturday 10:00PM8:00AM next
day. You will be asked for a fee of approximately 80 NIS per visit. Ask the doctor’s summary of the visit and a receipt for
payment. Not refundable. You should try the Harel house call first.
Rabies: Rabies is rare but not unheard of in this region. Rabies shots are only given via the Ministry of Health, located in
the Kiryat HaMemshala building downtown.

The Emergency Room (Hebrew: Hedar Miyun) in Israel works a little differently than in the States. If it is a true life-
threatening emergency, don't hesitate to go to the ER. If it is not life-threatening (broken bone, minor accident, etc.), you
may be charged around 750 NIS if you don't have a referral from your family doctor, house-call doctor, or night clinic
doctor (see above). If possible, call Gaby first. Keep your health insurance card with you at all times! It will significantly
expedite things when you get to the hospital in an emergency. Also, pregnant women can go to the women’s ER after 7
for no fee.

 Things that don’t require referrals: OB/GYN, ophthalmology, dermatology and ENT. Israeli student liaisons can
help you set up appointments. Note that some tests require you to pay out-of-pocket.
 Finding a specialist: Your primary care doctor can recommend a specialist for you and the reception desk at the
clinic may be able to help you schedule an appointment. If the specialist you are referred to does not speak
adequate English, or you are looking to switch specialists or find a second opinion, it may be helpful to post on
the yahoo group Anglo-Beer-Sheba. You may also consult with the MSIH administration for specialist
 Specialty centers: the two main locations for specialty care are Kupat Holim Gimel, and Soroka Hospital.
Appointments at Kupat Holim Gimel can be made at 086292727. If you are making an appointment with a Soroka
specialist, it is most efficient to go to the reception desk of that division in person. Kupat Holim Gimel is located
at Henrietta Szold 1.
 Referral paperwork: you will need a referral (called “hafnaya”) from your primary care doctor for the first time
that you see a specialist, but not for any following visits to that specialist. However, you will likely be asked for a
form called a “hitchayvut” at every visit. Only Israeli citizens need this form. Showing your insurance card may
clarify the situation, but if the reception desk is still skeptical, tell them that you are a foreigner (“Ani student zar”
in Hebrew).

Located in the internal medicine building at Soroka on the second floor. Walk in and make an appointment any time. The
clinic itself is only open on Wednesday evenings.

After an emergency, you may need to attend rehabilitation services outside of your primary care office. Expenses incurred
during this time, such as for transportation, should be covered by Harel. However, you will have to pay out-of-pocket
initially, and only after you have completed rehabilitation may you receive reimbursement.

For mental health services, the school offers a psychologist. Students can meet with Dr. Itzhak Lander (at no cost). He is
best reached by text message at 0544357765. He can also be reached by email at His office is one
block into the old city at Herzl 118, 2nd floor above Pitput (restaurant). Many students see him every year, sometimes
sporadically (when the need arises) and sometimes at regular intervals. Generally, students have found him to be very
helpful, but you might have to be persistent in getting in touch with him. Female counselors are also available through
BGU's Woman's Centre which will offer our students subsidized rates. Those interested may call Nirit Segal at 086477562
or 086428369 [please leave a message] or via email: Initial assessment costs somewhere around
Students may also form support groups. Rooms for support groups can be requested through student council. For more
options on counselors, etc., see the directory at


For alternative medicine options in Beer Sheva, you will probably have to pay out of pocket. There is a masseuse as well
as an acupuncturist that work out of the sports center. They are both affordable and well-liked by students. For Herbal
medicines and other non-allopathic options, the Indian store on Rambam in the old city is your best bet. They are also
great for health food/organic food in general. There are also massage therapists throughout the Beer Sheva area.

While most specialists require a referral from a family doctor, gynecologic visits do not. You can make an appointment
with a gynecologist directly by calling 086292700. (You will need the number from your insurance card.)
The women’s clinic is located in Gimel right by the Leonardo Hotel. You can visit the clinic for all concerns general
checkups or questions, suspicion of infection, pap smears, birth control, etc. Every gynecologist also has an ultrasound.
Gynecologic visits and testing are completely covered by insurance, but pap smears are not covered by insurance for those
under 25 years of age. Gardasil is not covered at all. There is a special emergency room at the hospital for gynecologic
emergencies. Entering through the gate to the hospital on Arlozorov, it is directly ahead. You can go there for gynecologic
emergencies, including pregnancy related emergencies, severe lower abdominal pain, sudden bleeding or discharge, etc.
Note that there is also a monthly visit by a gynecologist at the clalit kupat cholim in the student centre. To make an
appointment to see the gynecologist at the student center, simply drop into the kupat cholim and speak to the receptionist.


Birth Control (pills, nuva ring) can be obtained either by visiting your regular doctor or by visiting the gynecologist. You
may or may not be able to find the same brand in Israel that you use in the US, especially for birth control pills. Minesse is
a common brand of pill found here; there is also a cheap Israeli generic called Flame. There are 3 brands that are covered
by Clalit health insurance, but Minesse (57 NIS) is not one of them, and you’ll need to pay out of pocket. Plan B (the
morning after pill) can be purchased over-the-counter at pharmacies for ~150 NIS. You can also obtain birth control
before you leave from Planned Parenthood which will sell you 12 months of birth control if you explain that you will be
living abroad for the year. Condoms can be purchased at several locations: for the biggest selection, head to SuperPharm
or NewPharm. You can also find them at the Akademon and sometimes at small corner stores. Condoms are also
sometimes given away at university functions. One place you are not likely to find them is the supermarket.

You can get tested for STIs at your regular doctor, and even at the student clinic on campus (in the student center). STI
testing is completely covered by insurance. HIV results take two weeks, the others are quicker. Note that you will get two
tests of completely undetermined significance: M. hominis and Ureaplasma parvum. Almost everyone has these critters,
and no one has any idea if they are of any consequence whatsoever.

Several MSIH students/their partners deliver babies every year. For those on the Harel Prestige Policy, monthly
gynecological visits, standard pregnancy blood tests and 3 standard ultrasound tests are provided to all insured female
students. Other than that, pregnancy and labor/delivery are not covered by insurance. If you are planning to have a baby
while in Israel, you may need to buy an insurance policy privately at least 6 months before conception[J1] . Also check
into insurance requirements in the US, as insurance companies consider pregnancy a “preexisting condition.”

Abortions are legal and safe in Israel. To obtain an abortion, you must first make an appointment with a gynecologist to
confirm the pregnancy. In Israel, all abortions must be approved by committee, so your gynecologist will give you a letter
to take to the committee. Approval is generally granted, and it is always granted if one is unwed. Once approved, you can
make a second appointment with the gynecologist for the actual procedure. Abortions are provided by gynecologists in
women’s clinics as well as by doctors at Soroka.

 Ben Yair Clinic – Bialik St. 26. Near the fruit stand. Clinic Director: Dr. Alexander Levin (he is also the family
doctor for several MSIH students and his English is decent.) Clinic Phone number: 089110222, press 1. clinic
hours: Sunday, Tuesday 7:3013:00, 16:0019:00, Monday, Wednesday 7:30-13:00, Thursday 7:30-14:00 Friday
and on the eve of holidays 8:0012:00. Easiest way to make an appointment is to walk in and make one at the
reception desk.
 Wingate Clinic – Address: Hannah Senesh St. 3. Clinic director: Dr. Roni Peleg (he is also the family doctor for
several MSIH students and his English is decent.) Clinic phone number: 086207222, press 1. Clinic Hours:
Sunday: 07:30-13:00, 16:00-19:00. Monday 7:30-13:00. Tuesday 7:30-16:00. Wed: 7:30-13:00. Thurs 7:30-
13:00, 16:00-1900. Friday and the day before a holiday: 8:00-12:00
 HaShalom Clinic – Henrietta Szold St. 1. (in the Jewish Agency bldg., access from Shazar St) Clinic Phone
number: 086251222, press 1. Clinic Hours: Sunday 7:30-13:00, 16:00-19:00, Monday 7:30-15:00, Tuesday 7:30-
13:00, 16:00-19:00, Wednesday 7:30-13:00, Thursday 7:30-13:00, Friday 8:00-12:00.
 Metsada Clinic – Address: Mivtza Uvda St. 5. Phone number 086475222, press 1. Office hours: Sunday, Tuesday,
Thursday 7:30-13:00, 16:00-19:00, Monday 7:30-14:00, Wednesday 7:30-13:00, Friday: 8:00-12:00
 Ramot Clinic – Gershom Shalom St. 23. Phone number: 086246222, press 1. Clinic Hours. Sunday-Thursday:
7:00-12:00, 17:00-20:30, Friday 12:30-15:00


Dating someone from another culture can be a fun experience and is definitely a great way to gain cultural understanding
and improve your language skills! Most students will find that dating an Israeli is slightly different than dating in one’s
home culture. Rather than make broad generalizations, we think this is something you’ll learn by experience (or at least by
asking others). Just make sure to interpret dating behaviors within their cultural context, rather than jumping to
conclusions based on our own cultural expectations. That being said, do not compromise your safety if you feel someone
is being too forward or aggressive.
Long distance relationships: Many MSIH students maintain long-distance relationships with significant others back home.
Advice from current students:
 It’s hard no matter what you do.
 Technology is your friend. Smartphones, Skype, magic…there are many ways to stay in touch without breaking
the bank.
 Make regular times to talk and video chat. And keep them!
 Don't be afraid to visit home.
 Don’t forget to form connections with classmates and other people in Beer Sheva! We are a great form of support

Diversity of sexual orientation is widely accepted in Israel, though insensitive/stereotyping comments are not infrequent.
Same-sex marriages are not allowed to take place in Israel, but those that have taken place outside of Israel are legally
recognized as marriage once the couple is in Israel. To find out about LGBTQ happenings in B7 and elsewhere contact
Rachel Gibbs ‘20


Unfortunately, sexual harassment, sexual assault and microaggression is an issue at most universities and medical schools.
Prevention of such issues is always preferable to resolving the aftermath. As a medical student, it is essential to uphold a
practice of professionalism and respect for your peers, teachers and staff members whom you will be working with very
closely for the duration of your medical education. MSIH is a very small and diverse community. Issues between students
or between students and faculty/staff will affect the entire class. In addition, if you witness any harmful behavior, it is also
an essential practice of integrity and ethics to stand up and say something. Don’t be afraid!
Microaggressions are common phenomenon, which one should take seriously when working with diverse populations.
Once again, a joke or a small thing for one person, may have completely different implications for someone else. If you
are not familiar with the term, here’s a nice metaphor for what it may feel like.
There are many resources available:
In an emergency, anyone can visit the general emergency room. Women can visit the gynecologic emergency room
mentioned above. You may also contact any MSIH staff, or member of student council to assist you.
Casey Garrett (class of 2021)
Maya Gabal (class of 2020)
Nico Razon (class of 2019)


Yaakov Saibil (class of 2021)
Jensen Reckhow (class of 2020)
Chelsea Powell (class of 2019)


 NA'AMAT – is the largest and leading Women’s Movement in Israel. Check out their website at
o Office: 036921387
o Beer Sheva: 086238196
 Rape hotline, but also for other resources: 086422626
 Dean's office:
 For the overall BGU campus, Esther Priel is the main contact for reporting sexual harassment. This includes all
BGU and all MSIH students/faculty. The process of reporting sexual harassment is slightly different in Israel than
compared to the United States; please contact Prof. Priel is you have any questions regarding the process
o Professor Esther Priel:, 086477254


The Student Union issues a weekly newsletter in English detailing notable events and activities on campus. Find out about
shows, concerts, guest lectures, food contests, sales, fun events, etc. Sign up:

Save a Child’s Heart (SACH), Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), Good Neighbor, Student Council volunteer
opportunities and many others. You will find out more about these groups, and many others, at a meeting in August.
There is a dedicated position on Student Council (the Volunteer Coordinator) that will also assist your search for
volunteer opportunities around Be’er Sheva and in nearby cities
Um Batin! If you enjoy working with kids and teaching this is a great opportunity for you. Um Batin has been a part of the
MSIH family for several years and involves our students going to one of the Bedouin villages outside Beer Sheva to teach
english to high schoolers. Most of these students have taken formal english classes in school, and this opportunities allows
them to improve their conversational english. It’s a great opportunity to get outside Beer Sheva and even learn some
Arabic is you want to. Classes are every Saturday from 10-12. Contact Aaron Zimmerman or Jenna Farquhar for
information: ,
Beer Sheva Baseball! This past year, a baseball team was started for children ranging in age (elementary/middle school).
It is organized by a local family from the states, and the coach is from Chicago. Many of the children were either born in
the states and moved here when they were young, or their parents moved here before they were born. Practices are mainly
in english, but as the team gained popularity several Israeli children joined the team. If you want to help out at practices
contact Aaron Zimmerman or Jenna Farquhar for information:,

Ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, textiles, etc. Location: HaAtzmaut 26, Old City. Classes every day
Price: 50 NIS. Trial class: 20 NIS. Student discount available. Contact: (English)
Music & Acting: If you play a musical instrument, bring it with you! There are several great opportunities. Even if formal
performance isn't your thing, bring your instrument! Music is a great stress reliever. Several students have guitars,
keyboards, etc. and enjoy playing together. There's a great local bookshop with an open mic night, and there is even an
MSIH cover band!
BGU Chamber Music - There is a chamber music program at the university that
is open to musicians of all skill levels. Musicians are placed together in small groups based on ability and practice a
chosen work for one hour per week. There are performance opportunities throughout the year. If interested, contact
organizers Ute Deichmann and Danny Lachish: In the past, MSIH students have really enjoyed this!
Beer Sheva City Orchestra Although called an orchestra, this would be called a band or wind
ensemble in the US (Flute/clarinet/sax/trumpet/horns/tuba/percussion/etc.). Practice is every Sunday night from
810:30pm, and there are about 6 concert performances throughout the year. Members of the orchestra include adults of all
backgrounds students, and professionals. Great conductor!
Light Opera Group of the Negev – One theater/musical production in English per year. If interested, keep in mind that
they start casting parts and rehearsing around August. Contact: Joy Wiser ‘16


This is a great environment for dynamic student leaders! There are many ways you can get involved and the school is very
receptive to student participation. Below are some of the key student leadership positions:
Student Council:
 An important group that deals with student life and school issues. The chairperson meets regularly with Leaura
and Dr. Moser so there is direct communication with the administration
 Positions: chairperson, treasurer, administrative chair, volunteer coordinator, external affairs coordinator, ASRAN
representative, AMSA representative, class representatives.
 The chairperson next year will be Hadassa Holzapfel (
 Elections will be held early in the fall for the other positions and they are open to you as first years.
 Class representative to the Student Council (IMPORTANT!) – two members of each class are elected by their
classmates as representatives to the student council for 1year terms. They are responsible for various class-related
policy issues and meeting regularly with the 1st year coordinator (Dr. Luna) and student council. Elections for 1st
year class reps will happen sometime in August. Wait for an email. Class reps have many responsibilities to the
class and the student council. Keep this in mind when running or electing your class reps!
 Curriculum Committee – One representative is elected from each class to represent academic overall concerns.
The committee meets regularly with the Director of Academic Affairs (Prof. Jotkowitz) to discuss academic
concerns & implement changes to policy and curriculum.
 Global Health and Medicine Representatives – Two GHM reps are elected by each class to serve 1year terms.
This group works directly with the GHM coordinator on the global health curriculum. This is a great position for
anyone with an interest in global health education. Elections for first year GHM reps will occur in August. Wait
for an email.
 AMSA American Medical Student Association Chapter – Active club with many events; AMSA sale, bookroom;
funds student interest groups. Positions: President, Financial Officer, Programming Officer, 1st year rep.
Elections for 1st year rep will happen in the early fall.
Student Interest Groups
 Each group has 1-2 leadership positions just wait for emails
 EAC - Ethics Advisory Committee, MS4C Medical Students for Choice Surgery, EMIG - Emergency Medicine
Interest Group, FIM Families in Medicine, WHIG Women's Health Interest Group, SIM Students for Integrative
Medicine, Sheva surgery interest group, Psychiatry Interest Group
 **You can form your own interest group! Contact the AMSA for information.


Basketball: If you are looking for a competitive 5 on 5 game, show up to the Sports Center courts around 2:30pm on
Fridays. It's hit or miss as to the quality of the competition, but it's another great way to meet some nice Israelis with
similar interests. If you are looking to play 3 on 3 during the weekday or if you just want to shoot around, the basketball
courts tend to be available weekday evenings after 5pm.

Biking: Having a bike makes all of Beer Sheva extremely accessible and can make a huge difference for getting to class
and around town, shopping and going on small trips and outings. It is cheapest to get a used bike for 150-350 NIS, but you
can also get an entry level new bike for 400-1000 NIS. For those more serious about biking, some people end up bringing
their bikes from the States or buying a nice bike here (1500+ NIS).

General thoughts about biking:

 Be very careful on the roads! Wear a helmet!

 Bike theft is common. Use a good chain or Ulock. Cable locks have been, and will be, cut.
 Shabbat is a great day to bike, roads and highways are less busy.
 You can try to make it to Mitzpe Ramon or even Eilat on a road bike.
 Mountain biking – it’s everywhere! Many popular routes. Join the BGU club.
 Bring enough water with you!!!

Capoeira: A local group practices twice a week, as well as official BGU classes, for which Gaby can help you register.

Climbing: There is a new climbing gym in the old city called Performance Rock at Hatsmaut 4. Wednesday is free for
ladies. Otherwise, one visit is 45 NIS if you go in the morning and 55 NIS in the evening. There are several pricing plans
for monthly, half year, and annual memberships. Routes are swapped around regularly, so there’s always something new
to climb. There are routes for every skill level. The first time you go, tell the counter you need to sign the waiver. You can
get beer on tap (Malka) and granola bars at the counter. Members have a free single session pass that they can give to a
friend. or

Yoga: You can take Yoga and many other classes such as Pilates, belly dancing, etc. very affordably at BGU. Classes
usually take place in Hebrew, but it is a great way to get language skills and do exercise. Classes begin when the rest of
BGU starts, usually October. Ask the Israeli liaison or ASRAN representative. There is also a studio in Bet called
DoYoga with yoga, Fly-yoga, pilates etc. ( ). The climbing gym (see climbing)
has also just started offering yoga for 45 NIS per class or 220 NIS per month.

Dance: Israel is an amazing place for dance! Home of the world famous Batsheva, Vertigo and Kibbutz dance
companies. Suzanne Dellal Center (the house of “Gaga-technique”) in Tel Aviv has performances and classes
(, . Studio Naim also in Tel Aviv also has a large variety of
classes in dance, yoga, pilates etc. etc. Beer Sheva’s very own, Karmea Dance Company has a dance school called Bat-
Dor with studios in Gimel. They offer master classes & company classes. Call 08-6231521 or 08-6275577 for more
information. Adama in Mitzpe Ramon, Adama also operates an affordable youth hostel and is a great
place to go relax. BGU’s Studio-Positive also offers dance classes, along with yoga, zumba, pilates etc.
( Contact: Rachel Gibbs ‘20

Crossfit: The B7 Crossfit Box is on Wingate very close to school. Sessions are one hour long, and vary between regular
high intensity, circuit style training, to gymnastics work, olympic weightlifting, and yoga. The coach is amazing and
makes each class very accessible, regardless of previous activity level. The best way to get involved is to join the
facebook group (CrossFit Beer sheva‫ )שבע באר קרוספיט‬where you sign up for classes, and message the coach. Cost is
1000 shekels for 4 months unlimited membership, 1380 for 6 months unlimited. Contact: Jenna Meyer

Jiujitsu & Kickboxing: There is a small club in town that holds Jiujitsu, Muay Thai and general kickboxing classes.

Football (the HandEgg kind) and Cheerleading: The Beer Sheva Black Swarm is an American football team that
plays in the Israeli Football League. Team consists mostly of college-aged players and young professionals. The season
runs from October - March and culminates with the Isra-Bowl in Jerusalem. They practice every Monday night from
8:30-10:30, looking for players, coaches, referees, cheerleaders or spectators! Contact: for football Chen Doron
0548143414. / /

Running: If you are a runner, you are not alone at MSIH. Talk to your classmates or send an email out, and you will
soon find a running partner. During the hot parts of the year, the best time to run is before 7am or after 8pm. Be sure to
wear something bright and highly visible, like reflectors or a light at night. Most people find routes throughout the city or
venture out into the desert. Despite the popularity of running and physical activity in the area, some locals may clap or
shout at runners. Ignore them. There is a BGU running group that meets at least once a week, posted on their facebook
group: There are numerous races year-round in Israel, and last year we even had
our third annual Glow run in Beer Sheva (both as a city and for MSIH!). Keep an eye on the weekly digests from BGU’s
student union for school wide race opportunities as well as other fun events! Contact: Jenna Farquhar You can look on the following websites for races:

Spinning/Indoor cycling: BGU has a separate studio for spinning classes and other group fitness classes (zumba,
aerobic kickboxing, etc.). It is hidden in the basement of bldg. 72 on the main campus. Classes are held in the evening
and an updated schedule (partially in English) can be found at For classes
with popular instructors (such as Yaniv for spinning speaks English), it is recommended to reserve a bike before 2pm the
day of the class by calling 086472340. Classes are 22 shekels each or you can buy a semester long pass or a punch card
(buy 8 classes get one free). To buy the pass/card you need to bring a letter from a physician stating that you are healthy
enough to participate and your blue BGU ID card with a sticker on the back (certifies that you are a member of the
student union) to the glass booth in the entrance of the Zlotowski Student Center on the main campus.

Salsa Dancing: There is free Salsa class on Tuesdays (located in the dorms across from the Sports center), and 25 NIS
Salsa class on Mondays (in building 72, BGU main campus). Both get going at around 10pm, and afterwards there is free
dancing till 1am. The Monday class is better for learning. Contact: Maya Gabel

Soccer (the FootBall kind): For random pick up, there is a schoolyard on HaMeshahrerim. There's usually a wide range
of ages playing, including girls and boys. There's another court on Rabbi Akiva (right next to Metsada) in Schuna Dalet,
past the fruit stand. There is also a BGU women’s soccer team that practices a couple nights a week and participates in
some tournaments.

Triathlons: There is definitely a thriving triathlon community in Israel. Go to http:// for more info
about particular races. Contact: Jenna Meyer

Ultimate Frisbee: There is an active group of Ultimate Frisbee enthusiasts that plays every Wednesday. They are
welcoming new players.

For web links, please see
 Roman Catholic
o Hebrew and English
o Meetings: Monday-Saturday at 6:30pm, Sundays at 6:15pm
o Location: 51 HaShalom St. (near the corner of Arlosorov and HaShalom)
 Nachalat Yeshua Messianic Congregation
o Hebrew w/ Eng., Russian, and Spanish translations
o Meetings: Friday service and Lord’s supper at 5:30pm on the 1st Friday of the month, Saturday at 10:30
am (winter); summer services will be at 5:30pm or 10:30am
o Location: 15 HaAvot St, Old City (near Lola Café)
o Website:
 Protestant
o Spanish-Speaking
o Location: Herzl, Old City
o Contact: Pastor Javier (He doesn’t speak English that well): 054-3980383
 There is an English-speaking student group that meets on weekdays.
 Anthony (leader of group): 0546238221

There is no shortage of synagogues in Beer Sheva, and you can easily find one in any neighborhood. Most synagogues are
orthodox, and egalitarian services are hard to find. Listed below are a few options that have been popular with MSIH
 Kehillat Beerot
o Meets at 6:30 on Friday night (for summers; winter they meet shortly after candle lighting) and 8:00am
on Saturday, as well as on holidays at Beit Yatziv at HaAtzmaut 79.
o The community is a mix of Americans and Israelis, couples with children, and single people. Services are
“partnership style”, where men and women sit separately, and women and men each lead certain parts of
the service.
o Contact: Gabe Axler, 0525223601 or Emily Shapiro-Katz, 0549535651.
 Young Israel
o Located off Bialik, on HaSoferim St.
 HaKippa
o Located in Hey neighborhood, on HaTzvi St. Orthodox, many English speakers.
 Rambam Synagogue:
o Located in Hey Neighborhood on She’ar Yashuv Street, also Orthodox with many English speakers.
o One of the only Nusach Ashkenaz synagogues in Beer Sheva.
 Fruchter
o Located on HaMeshachrerim St. near the corner of Bialik.
o This is a more eastern European “Shtiebel.” Small but homey.
 Jeff Seidel Beer Sheva:
o Jewish study group that has weekly classes (with food), occasional shabbat dinners, and annual
international trips
o Check the facebook page for details
 Chabad/ Lubavitch
o 3 Sokolov, 08-623-3197


Use the map!
$ Cheap – 10-20 NIS
- Roya Bar wraps
- Bella Italian/gourmet pizza
- Black Bar & Burger
- McDonalds
- Cafe Hillel
- Bagel Place
- HaSifriah
- Cafe Café
- Jonny Crispy
- Glida Beer Sheva
- Yogurteria (across from the entrance to ONE. Open Shabbat)
- Pizza Al Gehalim – Kakal St (**Best pizza in Beer Sheva**)
- Burekas – open 24 hours, at the bottom of Kakal St.
- Hummus Yardeni – across from Saba Jepetto
- Hummus Said – mall behind courthouse
- Nona – Israeli kitchen. Off BenMatityahu St near northern gate of BGU Campus
- Hummus Abu Dhabi – Rastafarian hummus Alexander Yannei (Dalet)
$$ Moderate 25-40 NIS
- Siesta Cafe – open on Shabbat
- Max Shawarma
- PitPut Cafe – open on Shabbat
- Eden Market – restaurant inside, good lunch specials!
- Aroma Café
- Avaz HaZahav – grilled meats
- Nafis – open 24 hours, dinerlike menu. Open on Shabbat
- Burger Ranch – Israeli version of Burger King
- Tiv Ta’am/Sderah Shivit – Tiv Ta’am has a 35 NIS student meal including a drink at both eateries
- Street Food – Asian, non-kosher, open Shabbat until 9pm
- Churrasco – non-kosher, cheeseburgers/bacon available* Open Shabbat ‘til 10pm
- Roladin – Café/Pastry
- Café Cafe
- Greg’s Coffee
- Lola Café – Smilanski St
- PitPut Café –Herzl St
- Mexicali – Mexican Kakal St
- Panda Noodles – Stir Fry Kakal St
- Japanese – Kakal St
- Kanyon HaNegev Mall food court & cafes – an airconditioned haven in summer
- Saba Jepetto – sandwiches and salads. Rasgo Shopping center near Keren
- La Flambée – Crepes. Yosef ben Matityahu street, just North of campus
- Sandwich place – Merkaz Oren
$$$ Expensive 40-80 NIS
- Kampai – Asian Fusion. Open on Shabbat
- Que Pasa – mixed “mediterranean” tapas. Open on Shabbat
- Arabica – Herzl/HaAvot
$$$$ Very Expensive 80+ NIS
- Yakota – Mordei HaGetaot st – excellent Moroccan fare
- Tapas Bar – Smilanski St
- Casa Do Brasil – Brazilian BBQ Rager/Montefiore


Note that most buses follow the same route in both directions, but a few buses make one-way neighborhood loops. Also,
be aware that the return bus stops from the Old City are scattered along HaHalutz Street keep walking until you see the
correct stop. The buses departing the Old City will not stop at the Shuk or Central Bus Station (except the #5).
Commonly utilized bus routes passing near the university:
- #3: Hameshahrerim St. (near stadium) Schuna Alef - Schuna Vav - Central Bus Station (CBS) - Old City.
- #4: Ramot (loop) Uri ZviSderot - Ben Gurion - Schuna Gimel - CBS – Shuk - Old City.
- #5: Wingate (westbound) Rager (north) - Ben Gurion - HaShalom – CBS – Shuk - Old City.
* Buses 4 and 5 are the best way to get to the Shuk or Old City from campus; wait outside the Gimel dorms across from
the sports center and take either the 4 or 5 buses south
- #6: Dalet/Bet Yehuda - HaLevi - Metsada - Tchernichovsky - Bialik - Hameshahrerim - Rager - CBS - Shuk - Old
- #7: Dalet - Avraham Avinu - Yakov Avinu - Rager - CBS - Shuk - Old City
- #8: Dalet - Ringelbloom - Rager - CBS - Shuk - Old City.
- #12: Metsada - Rager - Old City - Shuk - CBS.
- #16: Schuna Yud Alef - Schuna Hey - Schuna Bet - Ben Yehuda - Rager - Sderot Ben Gurion - Gimel Dorms -
HaOrgim (supermarkets) - the BIG/ONE Plaza.
** The 16, 25 and 26 are the best ways to get to the HaOrgim supermarkets, the BIG, or ONE Plaza from Campus/Soroka,
(the 16 also leaves from Schuna Bet); if near the main BGU campus wait on the south side Sderot Ben Gurion across from
the main campus entrance or wait near the Gimel Dorms.
*** The return stop to catch the 16 and 25 from the BIG towards Soroka/Campus/Bet is on Derech Hevron in front of
Nafis restaurant, Dor Alon gas station, and the HomeCenter.
- #24: Ramot Bet - Sderot Ben Gurion (westbound) - Rager - Old City - Shuk - CBS
- #25: Schuna Dalet - Sderot Ben Gurion - Gimel Dorms - HaOrgim (supermarkets) - the BIG/ONE Plaza.
- #26: Clockwise loop around the entire city (one way only). Dalet - Sderot Ben Gurion - the BIG/ONE Plaza –
ShazarHameshahrerim - Aleph.


 Be careful! Drivers here can be quite aggressive (lots of speeding & cutting off) and accident rates are relatively
 The roads can be very confusing. Some road signs are slightly less than accurate. Expect to get lost. Use Waze,
google maps, gps, a map whatever. Or I guess you could ask for directions.
 There is no right on red in Israel! There is yield on red only when there is a dedicated right-turn lane with a
pedestrian island & flashing pedestrian warning light. You will get a huge fine if caught. Always watch for
 On the major highways there are cameras on the traffic lights. The first-time fine for running a light (which is
easier than it sounds because of traffic conditions) is 1,000 NIS.
 The West Bank/East Jerusalem: Be aware that your insurance may not cover driving there, so check your policy.
It’s always prohibited in Israeli rental cars. Exercise caution.
 Kvish 6 is the major highway that runs through Israel. It is an automatically billing toll road and you will be
charged for each trip. A bill will be sent to the owner of the car, or if a rental, it will be passed to the renter with
an extra fee. ***Failure to pay within 30 days results in 100% fee increase. If you own a car, you can set up an
account which will charge your credit card directly. You will also get a discounted rate.
 Parking: In cities and developed areas, you may only park where the curb is unpainted (free) or blue/white stripes
(metered). All meters in Israel are controlled by the Pango Parking System – you call *4500 and follow the menu
to pay, or download the smartphone app. If you own a car you can set up an account to speed up the process. In
Tel Aviv, some of the metered parking is for local residents only, and without the proper sticker you will be
ticketed. All Red/White and Red/Yellow painted curbs are strict no-parking zones.

Where to rent a car:
 Budget Rental (2 Sadna), hours: 8:00-18:00 Sun-Thurs, 8:00-14:00 Fri). Rental costs are as low as $22 per day.
Usually the cheapest. (preferred) or Note: mandatory insurance (see below)
may not be reflected in the internet quote. Also located near Hertz and Avis.
 Eldan: Leonard Cohen St, off Shazar.
 Sixth car rental: gotten mixed reviews. Off Shazar/Hevron near the BIG.
 Avis: a bit farther away and more expensive, but maybe worth getting a quote. Location: 2 Amal St, ~1km east of
the BIG on Derech Hevron
 Perfect Rent: 110 NIS/day including insurance. Special MSIH deal available. 089478436
Rental Policies & suggestions:
 Insurance is MANDATORY by law, and you can’t decline it even if you have your own.
 The auto rental insurance that comes with most credit cards is NOT VALID IN ISRAEL, so don’t depend on it.
This is true for Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover, and probably others too.
 Kilometers: For one or two-day rentals, limited to 200km or 250km per day. For three-day or longer rentals,
unlimited km. Always check your agreement before leaving!!
 If you are traveling with a friend visiting from abroad, it is cheaper to put the car under their name and add
yourself as a driver since our A2 student visa does not make us eligible for tax-exempt status.
 Renting from or dropping off a car at the airport will add an extra $27.50 (airport fee), but sometimes it is more
than worth this expense if sharing rides, bringing lots of baggage, flying at odd hours, or flying on Shabbat.
 Airport rental locations are open 24/7, while local Beer Sheva branches close at noon or 2pm on Friday and
reopen Sunday at 8am. If you plan to drive to the airport on Shabbat, rent the day before.
 Rental companies charge an extra administrative fee (50 NIS + tolls) for using Kvish 6.
**All drivers will need to present a valid license, passport, and credit card when renting.
***Never let anyone drive that is not covered in your insurance plan!

Although owning a car is in no way essential given the network of trains, buses, and taxis, every year a few students buy
cars. It’s particularly convenient as all public transportation stops on Shabbat. There are a number of distinct positives and
negatives. Carefully consider your lifestyle and budget and decide if it is right for you. Here are some key points to help
you decide:
 Can you afford it? Really look at your budget. Cars are very expensive in Israel!! New ones have more than 100%
tax applied to the price, and a cheap 'student' car i.e. anything under $2,000 USD will be an older (mid to late
1990’s) compact manual. These older cars generally need to be serviced regularly you might end up with a real
money pit.
 Gas is around $7-9 USD/gallon! Side note: it's always appropriate to offer gas money to drivers!
 Cost of insurance (see below) is ~2700 NIS per year
 Take your time deciding if you really need one. You may find that the public transportation and an occasional
rental comfortably meet your needs.
 Sharing a car: A very good way to reduce costs and financial risks. But you wouldn't adopt a child with someone
you don't know... Okay, this might be an exaggeration, but the same principle applies. It is really important that
you get along well and fully understand how you plan to use the car and pay for things. It's much easier if you live
 Manual vs. automatic. Manual cars are much more common outside the US, including Israel. It’s a good idea to
know how to drive a manual.
So, you've decided to buy a car mazel tov! Finding a car:
 You can look on the classified sites, such as
 A good option is to look around. People selling their cars will post a sign in the window.
 Departing third-year students often sell their cars to MSIH students the end of your first year is a good time to


 Meet with the owner and go on a loooooooong test drive!
 It is absolutely essential that you go for a thorough inspection at a mechanic you have chosen. Get an estimate for
any work that needs to be done or will likely need to be done in the future. Make sure you have a fluent Hebrew
speaker present!
 For used cars you can pay with cash and sometimes checks.
 You and the owner need to go together to the registry and transfer the car to your name for a one time ~200 NIS
Maintaining the car
 Annual inspections are mandatory and cost around 100 NIS. You must display an up to date sticker on your
windshield or you can get fined.
 You need to renew the car registration annually (~1000 NIS) before your inspection. You can go online in
 Emek Sara is an automotive industrial park off route 40 on the southern outskirts of Beer Sheva. There are many
mechanics and an inspection center.
 Adam at Ya’av Car Center, Hapoalim 21, Beer Sheva, is an English-speaking mechanic. 0524533787. The garage
is set back from the road on the right.
Car Owner’s Insurance
 It is mandatory in Israel but luckily, less expensive than in the US. There are several components of each
insurance policy:
o The Chova is a legal requirement, and the cost is governed by the type of vehicle, age of drivers, accident
history, air bags and usage. The Chova covers unlimited liability coverage for bodily injury to the driver,
passengers and pedestrians. Each car covers its own passengers irrespective of who is at fault.
o The Makif covers any damage to your vehicle and any 3rd party vehicle up to a value of approximately
400,000 NIS. It also covers any depreciation on the market value of your car as a result of an accident.
o Tzad Gimel just covers damage to a 3rd party. It does not cover damage to your own vehicle.
o Towing insurance is like AAA and is purchased through the car insurance broker. If your car breaks down
anywhere in Israel, it’ll be towed to Beer Sheva.
 Most students choose to get Chova + Tzad Gimel + Towing insurance. The prices are about 1700 NIS, 800 NIS,
& 200 NIS respectively. Most student cars are either too old to qualify for Makif coverage or it is prohibitively
expensive. The Tzad Gimel is strongly recommended in case you have a fender bender with a fancy Mercedes!
 Several students have used Liat Nitzan for insurance she speaks good English and makes the process very easy.
You’ll need to email her some basic personal information and photo/scan of the car’s registration then she’ll send
you proof of insurance by email and snail mail. Contact: 0525285888,


The following information is for people with spouses, significant others, and/or children. Additionally, the interest group
“Families in Medicine” exists to help students and their loved ones as they settle in Israel. Several students have compiled
a lengthier survey with in-depth questions about childbirth and raising children in Israel. This is available upon request
from Gaby Koren at
Significant Others and Spouses:

 Visa Options
o Tourist Visa – Holders of this visa must exit the country every 90 days and can obtain a new visa upon
o Volunteer Visa – Obtained through volunteer agencies.
o Work Visa: If you wish to work in Israel you must first find secure employment in Israel and ask your
prospective employer to apply for a work visa for you there. Note that in order to obtain such a visa, you
should NOT apply for the spouse’s visa through the University. iv. Student Visa – For those studying at
an Israeli institution.
o Spouse/child of student Visa
 Employment
o Formal employment in Israel proper is difficult to find for non-Israeli citizens and can sometimes be more
challenging for non-Jewish individuals. Try to make the necessary contacts as much as possible before
leaving for Israel, since there might be legal documents that you will need to bring with you to present to
future employers.
o Those with “portable skills” have been able to maintain steady incomes by doing contractual and often
transcontinental work. Some examples include: graphic design, editing, web development, teaching
English for Wall Street and Berlitz, baby-sitting, tutoring
o Please keep in mind that job follow-up in Israel requires you to be much more culturally aggressive. It is
expected that you will check in to make sure that they have received your résumé and then contact them
several weeks later to express continued interest if you have still not heard back from the organization.
o Transcontinental commuting – some significant others/spouses maintain positions in the US or Canada.
o Some job hunting resources used in the past:,
 Volunteering
o Opportunities that may include “living stipends” can be found at ii. More volunteer
options can be found on our own student website at
o Arab NGOs – primarily in northern Israel.
o Israeli NGOs
o Save a Child’s Heart organization that supports cardiac surgeries for children from developing countries
treated in Israel.
o Be'er Sova a soup kitchen that runs a “meals on wheels” program and a “restaurant” in the Old City.
o Bedouin town – volunteering options available in the school system.
o Ethiopian absorption center in Beer Sheva.
 Studying – Many significant others and spouses also study here. This requires funds, but loans are available for
many programs. In general, for those able to commute to Tel Aviv or Jerusalem there are many more English
educational options available.
o Options in English
 M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies at BGU – 1 yr. Many spouses of MSIH students have attended
this program over the years.
 Honors MBA program at BGU – 13 months.
 M.Sc. Program in Desert Studies at BGU – 2 yrs.
 Art/dance classes – Hebrew and English options.
 Hebrew University Rothberg School: They offer a variety of master’s programs, including Jewish
Studies and nonprofit management.
 Tel Aviv University also offers an English language business program for those willing to
o Options in Hebrew
 Master’s in Financial Mathematics at Bar Ilan University near TelAviv, 18 month long program.
o Learning Hebrew/Arabic
 Hebrew Ulpan (Intensive Hebrew Language Study) – available at BGU and throughout the
 Hebrew University’s summer Ulpan as well as the Ben Gurion one are highly regarded. Please be
aware, however, that places fill up fast. If you are interested in participating, make sure to contact
them mid-Spring to early summer so you don’t get locked out.
 Another option for learning Hebrew is to stay in Israel the summer between first and second year
of MSIH and enroll in a fulltime Hebrew ulpan then. Several students do this each year and
recommend it highly, especially towards improving the student experience on the wards in third
 Arabic language classes: Available at BGU
 For Hebrew speakers, the Dukium organization also dispenses Arabic language classes. Contact
them at
 Ulpan Akiva in Netanya for Arabic immersion
 Children
o Schools
 As of now there are no English-speaking daycares or schools in Beer Sheva. Private English-
speaking care can be found, however.
 Elementary Schools – private and public schools available.
 Daycares
 Age 05 – There are many “gan” (day care) options available near the hospital. If you are
interested in trying one out for a week or two, do not hesitate to ask. Some daycares are
open to the idea of short trial periods in the summer.
 There is a government office for the public daycares.
 Make sure to ask around early and sign up as early as you can, since spaces often fill up.
 Public System “Iriyah” – Large variation in quality of care and tuition cost – ranging from
3001,000 NIS per month per child. These are subsidized for Israeli citizens. To reach the
government office for public daycares, ask for Gila at (+972) 86264773.
 Private System (regulated by the city) – Similar to US and Canadian expectations for quality of
care, but more expensive than the public system – ranging from 1,4002,000 NIS per month per
o English speaking nannies are available to be hired. Some students have used significant others of MSIH
students for childcare services.
o Childbirth
 Those planning to have children during their time at MSIH should be advised to talk to the
administration well in advance to work out possible arrangements for “leave of absence.” The
MSIH administration has in the past been very flexible and helpful in reaching individual
schedules, but students should always make sure to make all accommodations in writing, with the
approval of several senior administrators.
 Those insured with Harel Insurance should also be advised that the basic Harel plan does NOT
cover birth or potential perinatal complications to mother and child.
 A list of our trusted English-speaking pediatricians and Family Physicians is available from the
school office. Previous families have recommended Pediatrician Dr. Gazela in the Migdal
Harekevet near the Central Bus Station from personal experience.
 A list of Well-Baby Clinics in the area is available from the school office – This is where
immunizations are given to all children under the age of 2. It is important to have all medical
records on hand as immunization schedules in Israel (Europe) may vary slightly from those in the
US or Canada.
 Please see the more comprehensive information in the general student guidebook for
recommendations for dentists and Ob/Gyns.
 There's a "mother's room" in the hospital. In the old Ob/Gyn building, on the second floor, in the
newborn nursery, they have a room with a Medela hospital grade pump. There's only enough
space for one chair at a time, though. I didn't check it out, but I heard there might be a new
second nursing room in that area.
 a Pump= Mashaiva
 to nurse = lehhaneek
 Bathrooms in Be'er Sheva do not have outlets, so if a nursing mom wants to use her
pump closer to class, she'll need to have reusable/rechargeable batteries.
 Packing list extras for families
o Just about everything is available for purchase in Israel, but often at significantly higher prices than you
may be used to in the US or Canada. However, used children’s items are available at (find
Tel Aviv under international cities), or (in Hebrew, but student liaisons are available to
o A good stroller with wide, large wheels is very necessary in Beer Sheva as the city is constantly under
construction, making sidewalks very rocky and bumpy.
o English children’s books are very hard to find in Beer Sheva.
o Readymade vegetable baby food is all but impossible to find, but real fruit baby food is available.
o Israeli crib mattress sheets are smaller than standard US sizes and often do not fit US crib mattresses.
 Community environment – Israel is a very family friendly society.
o Near the hospital there are a few small parks within walking distance. In neighborhoods a little further
out, there are beautiful parks and places for children to play.
o There is a Gymboree-style indoor play park (Halal HaNiflah) on the outskirts of Beer Sheva and another
in the One Plaza.
o Kanyon HaNegev (the mall near the train station) has an indoor play area for young children. There are
often activities and crafts for children taking place at the malls.
o A zoo with local animals can be found on the Northern outskirts of the city.
 Shopping and Safety
o If you go to the supermarket and don’t have a car and are making a big shopping trip, the supermarkets
deliver groceries to your house for 20 shekel (~$5) It is called a mishloach.
o IKEA offers relatively reasonably priced new furniture. There are also Israeli web sites like that
you can browse yourself or ask the Israeli student liaisons to help you.
o Anglo-beersheba and the other Anglo listserves, like janglo and tanglo for Jerusalem and Tel Aviv
respectively, are good resources for secondhand furniture and general information when you first arrive.
Keep in mind, however, that the transportation costs for moving purchases from those sites can be quite
o Don’t bring anything expensive! Theft is a problem here. Don’t bring your good jewelry and keep your
diamond ring on your hand (don’t leave it at home if you go away). Beer Sheva is a very safe city, but
there is a significant amount of home theft.
 Transportation
o In Israel, a round trip bus ticket out of Beer Sheva is called a Haloch Chazor, and is cheaper than 2 one
ways. When you travel with someone (i.e. your spouse) you can buy one ticket and stamp it twice. For
example, if you are going to Tel Aviv, buy ONE haloch chazor each way (and then you don’t have to
worry about losing a ticket).
o If you fold your kid’s stroller on the bus and sit down with your kid then you don’t need to buy your kid a
ticket but if you keep them in the stroller then you need to pay for them.
o Alternatively, you can get rides with other BGU students by ridesharing. All the rides are listed on the
student union web site at
Overall, having a significant other and family in medical school is a challenge, but also a wonderful source of support.
The MSIH community would not be complete without all the significant others, spouses and children who join us and
support our students throughout our studies and future careers. We have found that with good planning and realistic
expectations medical school and life in Beer Sheva can be a positive experience for everyone involved. PLEASE contact
current students or graduates – we are happy to share more information and advice specific to your situation.


Tour Guides:
 Itzik, a licensed tour guide, does tours all over Israel, and he did an amazing job on our walking tour of Jerusalem.
Highly recommended by students that have used him when their families visited. Contact:
 Mike Turkenich, licensed tour guide, does customized private tours across Israel, including Jewish and Christian
tours, and ones that focus on history, archeology, etc. Contact:
 Walid the Beast (known by most), does Bethlehem and other "similar" areas of Israel. Contact info is or, 972522372779. He's also on Facebook.
 My Israel Wine Tours – Esther Cohen can organize winery visits and wine tastings for those who are interested in
Israel’s wine industry.
Easy Day and Weekend Trips
*This is not a comprehensive list of places to visit, but here are some easy trip ideas that students have done in the past
 Tel Aviv/Yafo – Great for the beach, bars, restaurants, clubs, and cultural experiences in general. Unlike in Beer
Sheva, life in Tel Aviv stays alive on Shabbat, although not public transportation. Take the train (80 minutes, 29
NIS), or Bus 370, 380, 371, 369 (70 minutes, 15 NIS).
 Jerusalem – Tons of historical and religious sites to see. The Old City! Though maybe sleepier than Tel Aviv,
there’s tons of modern culture as well. Take bus 470 (2 hours, 33 NIS).
 Mitzpe Ramon – Home to the largest erosion crater in the world. These are great places for a day hike or
overnight trip. Bus No. 60 shuttles hourly (80 mins) via Sde Boker and Ein Avdat.
 Golan Heights – Great for hiking and other outdoor adventures. Montfort castle, Nimrod Castle, and Banias Falls
are worth a visit. Unfortunately, a car is required if you want to explore!
 Haifa – An industrial city, sleepier than Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, but with some good restaurants and sightseeing.
The Baha’i Gardens are beautiful make sure to dress conservatively (shoulders covered) if you want to go inside.
 Akko – A beautiful historic coastal city with Crusader ruins. Take the train, or bus 252 or 272 from Haifa.
 Caesarea – This city, the former home of King Herod, is a beautiful historic site. It is well worth a visit to see the
archaeological ruins and to eat by the beach. The best time to go is early fall before it gets too cold, or
spring/summer. Caesarea is reachable by bus or train from Tel Aviv, but this trip is easiest with a car.
 Zichron Yaakov – A sleepy little town south of Haifa and very close to Caesarea. Known for its lovely
cobblestone streets and great wineries, Zichron is sometimes called the “Napa of Israel.” You can get there by
train to Binyamina, but this is also a trip best made by car.
 Ashkelon – Good for a day at the beach. Some students go surfing here frequently. Bus No. 364 or 366 (80
minutes, 22 NIS) or a sherut leaving from the Central Bus Station.
 Ein Gedi/Dead Sea – Hiking and swimming. One of the best natural wonders of the world. Bus No. 384 (2 hours,
40 NIS).
 Eilat Red Sea – Watersports, snorkeling. Buses 392, 397, 393, or 394 (4 hours, 55 NIS) Tickets to Eilat must be
pre-purchased online or (same day) at the central bus station before boarding. The website for the Israel Nature
and Parks Authority is Lots of info about parks & hikes. You can pay per site you visit
or get an annual membership.
 West Bank – Note: Insurance policy does not cover entrance into West Bank.) Interested in visiting cities such as
Bethlehem and Ramallah? Want to tour the brewery at Taybeh, the only one in Palestine? For those who are
curious about to travel to the West Bank, a visit will allow a window into Palestinian culture and life. The school
officially does not recommend travel to the West Bank for security/insurance reasons. Pay extremely close
attention to the security situation. Getting there: Buses run to many cities in the West Bank from the East
Jerusalem bus station, located near the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City. For information on weekly
cultural events in Palestine see:
**Remember to bring your passport if you plan to stay anywhere overnight, even in Israel. Hostels & hotels will need
to check your visa.