How CHI Began

Co-Housing Israel started with a group of friends. Four American- born Israeli couples in their 50s and 60s met for a year to discuss their own aging in Israel. They explored the many social housing frameworks in Israel, Europe and America, and eventually chose cohousing.

In late 2014 they invited their friends to a meeting in Jerusalem. Through monthly meetings, committee gatherings and much laughter, by 2017 the group, with the guidance of a lawyer with expertise in cooperatives, had drawn up Bylaws and a Vision Statement. CHI was on its way.

Neither a kibbutz nor a moshav. Neither a NYC co-op nor a condominium. Neither a gated community nor a public housing project. Co-Housing Israel – CHI, would be an intentional community for 30 units, its members actively involved in its own design and administration, volunteering in the wider community, playing a vibrant role in the cityscape of Israel and changing the game of aging in place.

The group adopted the consensus form of decision-making, a challenge for anyone living in Israel where,

After years of looking for appropriate sites, creating viable financial models, working with advisors and becoming increasingly frustrated, in July 2019, six members (four rental units) entered Halomot Arnona, a long-term rental (ten years) housing complex in south Jerusalem initiated by the Ministry of Housing. This move reflected a compromise in the group’s vision and offered concomitant challenges. How could a small group, dedicated to the idea of cohousing, function within a larger complex of 330 units?

Now. In 2021, another rental project, hopefully unlimited in time, is in the works in Kfar Saba in central Israel. For further details, click here.

CHI’s goals are to encourage local groups to create either senior or multi-generational cohousing sites, while creating community through site and design meetings, social activities and creating a Member’s Agreement. 

CHI is a legal Israeli entity, recognized by the Registrar of Cooperatives.

Life Members of CHI are proud to have brought the concept of cohousing to Israel and look forward to spearheading the struggle for affordable, accessible senior housing for Israel’s middle-class.



Member’s Agreement

A Members’ Agreement is a binding agreement drawn up by the people who plan to live in a particular cohousing project. Each cohousing site has its own Members’ Agreement. Subjects, such as waiting lists, meals, meetings, behavior in common spaces, rituals and pets are defined by the members for themselves. Experience shows that it is wise to begin forming a Members’ Agreement months before moving in. The process itself builds community.


Community is about open communication. The consensus decision-making process ensures the involvement of all members in decisions that affect their lives. When everyone is involved in the decision-making process, people get to know each other well and this fosters community. One of the key elements of consensus is learning to listen to others. Disagreement does not mean the end of discussion, but the beginning of a more meaningful and deeper discussion.