Ashkelon, one of Israel’s most ancient cities, is today a thriving resort town which takes great pride in its beautiful coastline--the longest of any Israeli city!

Alongside the luminous blue seashore and delightful beaches that have become the symbol of the city, Ashkelon’s citizens also enjoy lush green parks and lovely gardens that dot the city with their beauty.

Its high-quality education, cultural centers, religious facilities, advanced health services, and tourists who arrive via the marina--which has been officially declared an international port--have all transformed Ashkelon into a progressive city that grants its citizens a fascinating life, enhanced by wonderful weather and a warm community atmosphere.

Ashkelon’s citizens are incredibly proud of their city. Over the last few years, there has been a major spurt in the number of city-sponsored cultural events woven throughout the richAshkelontapestry - involving children, youth, nature, the theater arts, sports, and more.

These outstanding activities serve to improve city life, and also to create a cohesive community of participants who meet to enjoy creative, delightful activities in such places as:

  • Heichal HaTarbut (“Hall of Culture”)—serving children and adults from Ashkelon and its environs, Heichal HaTarbut takes pride in its  abundant repertoire of some of Israel’s finest theatrical events and performances. A range of season’s tickets are available for all ages.
  • Heichal HaSport (“Hall of Sports”)—Ashkelonnatives are known for taking their sports seriously. Heichal HaSport, located in the middle of town, hosts basketball games, handball matches, and more. Plus, the municipality operates a number of additional sports programs in centers throughout the city.
  • The Ashkelon Academic College—hosts a diverse selection of events, conventions, and festivals, including the “Jewish Eye” World Film Festival, which has attracted film and culture buffs from Israel and abroad since its debut in 2003. TheAshkelonAcademicCollegecampus is also the site of the city’sInternationalConvention Center.
  • TheKhanMuseum—situated in the structure that served as the main mosque of the city ofMajdal, theKhanMuseummakes the history ofAshkeloncome alive, from this southern coastal city’s role in Biblical times till today.
  • The Ashkelon National Park—spanning 500 acres, this impressive park is composed of rare archaeological finds from many eras of life in the commercial and cultural center of ancient Ashkelon, including the Canaanite, Byzantine, Crusader and Roman eras. The Park also hosts the city’s amphitheater, home to many festivals, including the annual “Breeza Music Festival,” which stars leading performers.
  • The Ashkelon Marina—Inaugurated in 1995 by the late Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, theAshkelonmarina has been declared an international port. With a capacity for 600 boats, theMarinahosts tourists from across the world who are drawn to the serene, golden beaches ofAshkelon. TheMarinaalso features a selection of cafes and pubs facing the magnificent sunset over the sea.

Ashkelon also provides its citizens with a diverse range of cultural activities within the framework of ongoing neighborhood activities:

  • Youth movements—a number of youth movements are active in Ashkelon, providing a source for creativity, friendship and social activities for the city’s children and youth. Among the youth movements are Boy and Girl Scouts, HaNoar HaOved V’HaLomed, Bnei Akiva, Noam (Israeli USY), HaShomer HaTzair, and Ezra
  • Community Centers—Ashkelon’s wide network of community centers offers a range of courses, activities and performances for youth, adults and senior citizens.
  • Sport—Within the framework of the “City Without Violence” project, theAshkelonMunicipalityoperates a number of sports centers open to the public at large. The centers remain open till late at night, serving as a positive, healthy destination for youth and adults alike. 

Ashkelon’s “city culture” has drawn its citizens to several vistas that symbolize the strong community bonds that have connected the population through the years:

  • “Afridar” Center, or “The Clock”—located in the heart of the pioneering neighborhood of Afridar that was established in 1951 primarily by South African-born immigrants toIsrael. The lovely center, which has changed hands through the years, still serves as a municipal and cultural center where people of all ages come to meet for coffee, ice cream, and a pleasant chat.
  • The Giron Shopping Center—Ashkelon’s central shopping center, located adjacent to the Central Bus Station and theMunicipalBuilding. The shopping center features a wide range of Israeli and international products, cafes, and activities for the kids.
  • The Pedestrian Mall (“Midrachov”)—located in the Old City of Migdal. This longtime pedestrian mall enables children and adults to stroll through the shopping area, undisturbed by the din of traffic. Some of the city’s oldest restaurants and cafes are located on the Pedestrian Mall, offering a delectable, very special dining experience for all.
  • The Northern Beachand the “Yamiya”—Throughout the summer, you’ll find the youth of Ashkelon congregated on either (or both) theNorthernBeachand the Southern Beach (the “Yamiya”). Here they while away their days sunbathing, playing paddleball, snacking on watermelon, and enjoying every minute, till the sunset and beyond.

The southernmost coastal city inIsrael, Ashkelon enjoys quick and easy access to major traffic arteries connecting the city to main destinations throughoutIsrael—allowing its population to combine a top quality of living and an easy commute to their workplaces in the country’s major business and industrial regions.

  • Highway #4—connects Ashkelon toAshdodand Tel Aviv in the north, and toBeershebain the south
  • Highway #3—the main route leading to Highway #1 and on toJerusalem

  • Ashkelonis first mentioned in the Bible in the Book of Joshua 13:3: “the five lords of the Philistines—the Gazites, the Ashdodites, the Ashkelonites, the Gittites, and the Ekronites...”
  • Ashkelon spans nearly 20 square miles, one of the largest areas of jurisdiction inIsrael.
  • Ashkelon’s coastline is the longest of any Israeli coastal city—nearly 8 miles of beautiful Mediterranean beaches.
  • Ashkelonhas been declared a national tourist site. According to official government plans,Ashkelonis slated to become a tourist and resort center, as well as an area of national priority for tourism development.

  • As of the end of 2011,Ashkelon’s population stood at 128,000 citizens
  • During the 1990s, over 50,000 new immigrants moved toAshkelon, where they have become completely settled into the city’s life  
  • In 1989,Ashkelon’s population grew by 125%

  • Ashkelon’s educational system includes around 200 kindergartens, 31 elementary schools, and 16 junior high and high schools.
  • The Ashkelon Academic College numbers around 5,800 students.
  • The percentage of high school students who qualify for the bagrut national matriculation exams is a full 79% (as of Ministry of Education data from 2007).
  • A number of educational enrichment programs are offered in the city, including art and music lessons for kindergarten-age children, swimming and tennis lessons for fourth and fifth graders, university-level courses for gifted students, maritime skills at the Marina, and more

  • A number of youth movements are active in the city, including Boy and Girl Scouts, HaNoar HaOved V’HaLomed, Bnei Akiva, Noam (Israeli USY), HaShomer HaTzair, and Ezra

  • Ashkelon’s BarzilaiMedicalCenterprovides medical services to Ashkelonand surrounding area. The medical center also includes a Schoolof Nursing.
  • Ashkelon places the highest priority upon top quality education, spurred by theAshkelonAcademicCollege, located adjacent to leading high schools. In 1992, the College became qualified to grant Bachelor’s degrees fromBarIlanUniversity.   
  • Five municipal libraries operate throughoutAshkelon, serving children, youth and adult readers