Preparing to Relocate

Relocation from a Jewish perspective.

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Jewish Federations

Federations are the central fundraising and networking arm of a local Jewish community. They maintain a community calendar on their websites, along with listings of local Jewish institutions and resources. They may even have a community directory you can download or obtain via mail. Their fundraising supports many local agencies, so they are a good resource for getting to know the community. They are also often involved in local and Israel advocacy, women's issues, and other areas that may be of interest to you.

Miscellaneous

Unfortunately, anti-Semitism still exists in some areas. The Anti-Defamation League may have information related to this and other civil rights. If you are politically and civic minded, check out AIPAC, the American Jewish Committee, and the American Jewish Congress for local affiliates. Environmentally-conscious movers can visit the Coalition on the Environment in Jewish Life's list of local partners. Jewish Funds for Justice lists opportunities for social action in a Jewish context across North America, as does SocialAction.com.

Some larger communities even have a Jewish information and referral service. The local federation or Jewish family service agency are likely repositories for this service. Staff and volunteers may send out information packets, host an information hotline, and maintain websites to give locals and newcomers alike the most current information on Jewish programs and resources, ranging from kosher butchers to Jewish preschools and everything in between.

Get a copy of the local Jewish newspaper, sign yourself up for electronic updates offered by local organizations, and don't be afraid to "cold call" professionals in Jewish organizations. If you are uncomfortable about placing a call, start with email correspondence. If a real estate purchase is part of your move, consider contacting Shalom Home, a national service providing relocation support in a Jewish context.

Young Adults

Young adults have some unique considerations when moving. Does the new city have a sizeable young adult constituency? Do area synagogues meet young adults' interests? The websites listed above should help you answer some of these questions. Gesher City is a program in many cities for adults in their 20s and 30s. Gesher City partners with existing area institutions such as synagogues, JCC's, and federations to facilitate and promote programming for younger adults. Their website gives users the opportunity to start interest groups, helping young adults meet like-minded peers with similar passions.

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Caron Blau Rothstein

Caron Blau Rothstein is the former Director of Special Projects at the Center for Jewish Education in Baltimore, MD. She is currently developing programming for Congregation Neveh Shalom in Portland, OR.