Housing Information - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Heating and Hot Water


Most apartment buildings in Israel have a solar-powered hot water heater on the roof. During the summer months, this is usually sufficient for hot water, depending on the heater. In the winter, you will have to turn on the “dude shemesh.” Depending on how old your system is, it can take half an hour for the water to be warm and thus requires some coordination with your roommates on when you want to shower and how much hot water.

Note: It is not good for your dude shemesh to be left on all day and it can become very expensive!!


Cleaning Apartments


You will need a squeegee with a long handle and several floor rags (“smartoot”) to clean the tiled floors. A variety of products specifically for cleaning Israeli floors can be found at the supermarket. Dish washing detergent comes in both plastic tubs (soft paste) and plastic squeeze bottles: Liquid Palmolive, Super 7, Ajax etc. The liquid is probably a better choice because it is cheaper and better for sensitive skin. Also you may want to use a sponge with an abrasive backing or “scrubbies”. Some laundromats provide their own soap for a small fee. If you want to bring your own, BioTex, Tide, or Tipo liquid are recommended. There is also a baby-soap called Tino-Clean, which is good for sensitive skin. Bleach comes in bottles labeled “Super Lavan”. For hand washing, buy Textile Shampoo or Fantastic (liquids) or Woolite (expensive).  Fabric softeners are also available and recommended if you are not using a dryer. If you can afford it, it is a mitzvah to hire someone to come and clean for you. It is a treat for you, and generally, the people doing the apartment cleaning can use the income.