A Moving Checklist

Suggestions on how to go about relocating to a new Jewish community

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Announce Your Arrival

Make sure to transfer memberships in organizations such as Hadassah, B'nai Brith, and youth groups.

Call your previous contacts. If you spoke with any synagogues, schools, organizations, or individuals while researching, make sure you call them once you've arrived. If you have been in touch with a rabbi at the congregation you plan to attend, it is a good idea to call him or her and let them know the day before you attend Shabbat or festival services for the first time so that they can announce your presence.

Hang a mezuzah on your front door. Your Jewish neighbors might notice and introduce themselves. If you're lucky, you might even get a Shabbat dinner invitation out of it. The halakhah is that you are expected to put a mezuzah up in the first 30 days after your arrival. (For a multimedia guide on how to hang a mezuzah, click here.)

Schmooze

As you meet new people, create a list of questions that will help you navigate Jewish life in your new home. You might want to include the following questions:

  • Where do I find the tastiest challah?
  • Where can I buy Shabbat and yahrzeit candles?
  • Which grocery stores have the best selection of kosher, Jewish, or kosher-for-Passoverfoods?
  • Is there a short-cut to the synagogue (school, JCC)?
  • At what time do people really show up to services on Shabbat morning?

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Rabbi Rachel Miller Solomin is an educator living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was ordained from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies of the University of Judaism (now American Jewish University) in 2001.