Forum Replies Created
Amil Zola, the only places I know of in the PNW that have a mikvah is Seattle and Portland, with a few chabad mikvahs in Tacoma, Olympia, Eugene and Ashland. None of those towns seem really affordable, though, with perhaps Eugene as the exception. If wherever you are, you have a mikvah and cheap housing/rentals, I’m ready to drop everything and move.
CTLawyer, great to see there are other Jews who think outside the box.
To the both of you: How do you handle the need for Jewish connection while being far from any established community? I know that is something absolutely critical for my wife.
Joseph, all I can tell you is that’s how I felt there.
Milhouse: appreciate the ideas, though Detroit is actually a large city with plenty of traffic and unsatisfactory people. Even in Oak Park or Southfield, I don’t exactly feel safe. I’ve been there. Rochester is nice, though if I can choose anywhere to live, it wouldn’t be in the tundra.
Amil Zola, wherever you live, is there any Jewish infrastructure? I’d consider a place an hour or two from a mikvah, until we can build our own. So a couple hours out of Seattle or Portland works for me.
Joseph, it’s pretty simple: hasameach b’chelko. You learn to truly appreciate the limited kosher options that are available to you, and they soon don’t feel limiting at all. You become more self sufficient, realizing you don’t need take out twice a week, you don’t need ready made sushi to go, you don’t even need fancy flanken meat for your cholent. It’s the difference between teaching a man to fish and giving him a fish. You make it work, and you’re happier for it.
Amil, I of course respect your privacy and apologize for inquiring into your specific whereabouts. I am only curious because I’ve spent at least two years, possibly more, researching small towns that have a Jewish presence all across the western half of the United States, because that is where I truly want to be. I’ve reached out to dozens of community members, shul rabbis, chabad houses and schools, across the western states, and have found NOTHING I’m really looking for. In general, the places with chabads, like Colorado Springs, Boise, St George, Eugene, etc, aren’t interested in starting frum communities, no matter how much I try to convince them it would be a good idea.
I still maintain that given enough thought and time, there can be a satisfactory education system set up online that can accommodate the majority of Jewish children, provided there is an established, regular opportunity for them to get together for in-person activities.
Joseph, you clearly haven’t felt the joy of shaking a lulav and esrog that you had to order months in advance, pay 3 times what you pay in New York, and get shipped in a box, hoping it all stays intact, and then being able to share that mitzvah with other Jews who simply couldn’t get their own.
catch yourself – those are all valid points. But I still feel it’s a real serious option we should consider, specifically when countless families are breaking under the pressures of modern frum societal expectations, with yeshiva expenses, high housing costs, etc. We need to simply reevaluate what our priorities are.
southerner, I’m aware of that area, it is nice but not the kind of affordable I’m referring to. Also, as much as it’s a “suburb”, it is still very much within a large city. I’m talking about small towns, with real affordability.
Amil Zola – still curious where in the PNW you are located.
many people decline to answer those types of questions online- just sayin’ – mod 29
Amil Zola – I’m actually curious where in the PNW you live.. near Portland or Seattle? Or somewhere else entirely? I’ve been looking at cheap towns in that vicinity.
I truly appreciate all your feedback, thank you!
It seems the most common response is the fact that remote education cannot truly replicate an in person learning experience, and I of course agree with that.
1) In person learning has its own pitfalls, with quieter kids and non traditional learning style kids taking the brunt of what is considered “the norm”. Online education can resolve that.
2) I honestly feel the main problems with these zoom/online “classes” that have sprung up in the past couple months aren’t due to the nature of online learning itself. Rather, they’re due to the fact that we’re unprepared and unfamiliar with how to best utilize them. I completely my degree online, and was extremely satisfied with my learning experience. We just need to construct a real plan with how to do it properly.
3) The whole “lack of social interaction” thing wouldn’t be an issue at all, so long as the kids in the community are regularly getting together for activities, etc. The idea that only in a school environment can kids really have social interaction that can benefit them for life is erroneous and antiquated, and quite frankly, dangerous. There are SO many social pressures and anxieties that are caused by the mainstream school system, and in large communities with large schools, these issues aren’t noticed as much.
Another theme that sprang up – There’s already out of town communities. That is true, but not in the way I’m envisioning it to be. All of these communities (Atlanta, South Bend, Phoenix, Vegas, Portland, Dallas, etc.) have the same model as the in-town communities: They have yeshivas and day schools, many of them with high tuition costs, and many of them actually don’t have such cheap housing (I know South Bend does). The problem is many of these places are large cities, and the Jewish communities are in expensive areas. Many of these communities are STRUGGLING to stay afloat. I know, because I’ve lived in several of them. My idea would be to find a small city with very, very cheap housing.
Everything else – like the ease of having numerous minyamin, tons of kosher food options – I’d actually consider flaws. I don’t think we truly appreciate these things when they’re in such abundance. I know this as well, because I’ve lived in both large communities and tiny communities. And I’ll tell you right now, the people in the tiny communities appreciate their shul and what kosher amenities they have a lot more.
I’ll be perfectly honest, which isn’t something I usually am when posting here:
I WISH I would’ve gotten married during Corona. All along, all I ever wanted was a backyard wedding with maybe 10-20 people. I agreed to have a larger, more lavish affair to make my future in-laws happy. But my wife and I both would’ve been perfectly happy with a bare bones affair.
To all engaged persons, here’s a stab of truth: Your “dream wedding” isn’t about you at all. It’s about your peers. Your LIFE is about you, and that’s what matters. Give up the fairytale dream of what that one day of your life is supposed to look like, and realize it for what it is: A way to measure up to your peers. Don’t give in to that nonsense.
The invitations for the bar mitzvah won’t be necessary anymore. Great timing, coronavirus!