By Anessa V. Cohen

I just could not take the cold and the snow anymore, and I decided to hop on a plane and grab 10 days somewhere where the temperature was over 50 degrees. I guess some would ask why strive for 50 degrees when you can fly down to Florida and enjoy weather in the 70s, but I decided to go for modest and take advantage of those 10 days and shoot over to Israel.

Now Israel in the wintertime can go in many different directions when you consider just the weather. Eilat is at least in the 80s, whereas the Dead Sea could be in the 75—80-degree range, and then Tel Aviv and the center of the country might very well be in the 60—70-degree range–you just never know and have to bring clothes for any eventuality and just go figuring “pot luck.”

So that’s what I did, and I must say it worked out really well. The day I landed, I already had to take off my light jacket; it was 70 degrees and sunny–definitely a great start! I hopped into my rental car (left the window open–imagine!) and off I went to my daughter Simmy and my three grandchildren in Modiin.

The fact that the weather was over 20 degrees already put me in a wonderful frame of mind–70 degrees was really the gravy on the mashed potatoes! Spending time with my daughter and grandchildren in beautiful weather was enough to put me on top of the world and forget about the miserable weather we had been experiencing in New York.

Being in Israel already, I had to make a trip to Jerusalem and see if anything new was going on and catch up on all the new construction and changes that have come into play since my last trip. So off I drove to see what the latest additions were to the city, so that I could come back home and share with everyone.

Major construction is being accomplished in record time on the main highway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv (Number 1). Extra lanes are constantly being added, widening the highway for better traffic flow. Now, alongside the highway, they are preparing the ground for a new railroad for service between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Huge areas of mountain alongside the roadway have been bulldozed and are presently being laid out for this project. It promises to be a fine addition to the already existing train services from other towns and cities nearby and will hopefully cut back on the heavy traffic on Highway 1 once it is completed. Fast train service should be inviting to many who would prefer to leave their cars at home and use mass transit, especially if the service is good and fast.

A new area for entertainment is also in the works, near Sherover promenade, where a new Cinema City is in the planning stages. Cinema City will be an entertainment center featuring 36 movie houses and a variety of eateries that hopes to attract large crowds of revelers.

Many years ago, most of the movie houses were located in the center of town, off King George, Agripas, and Ben Yehuda. All of those movie houses closed down years ago, and although in recent years there has been some movie houses available at the Malcha Mall, those also recently closed–possibly due to being so far out of the center of town. The new Cinema City, whose location is much closer to town, hopes to attract Jerusalem residents as well as tourists in town looking to relax at a movie during their stay at a more central location than Malcha Mall. I guess we wait to see how successful this new project will ultimately be, once it is actually built and open.

Tomorrow, I drive around Modiin to check out the real-estate market there, and will report back on what I find next week. I have four more days till I must return to our deep freeze in New York, and plan to make the most of them. v

Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker and a licensed N.Y.S. mortgage originator with over 20 years of experience, offering full-service residential, commercial, and management real-estate services (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and mortgaging services (First Meridian Mortgage) in the Five Towns and throughout the tri-state area. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to

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