Institutional Considerations in Relocation

An observant Jewish listener emailed in followup to my podcast on what to think about when you think about moving.

He discussed some of the considerations for observant Jews evaluating a relocation:

When a traditionally observant/Orthodox Jew wants to move, the questions that are asked are ordered differently:

1. Is there an observant Jewish community where you are moving to? What’s it like? If not - you are not going to move there (this effectively excludes most rural areas and vast areas of the US)
2. Are there adequate institutions for an observant life - synagogue, day school, mikva (ritual bath), eruv (which allows one to carry on Shabbat), yeshiva, kosher food, etc. These institutions are a necessity to living a religious life.
3. Do you have connections, job, etc.? In terms of connections, these may be family or friends/societal - the community is generally small enough that much of it is separated only by a few degrees of connection.
4. Career promotion, cost-of-living, weather, etc.

For an example, look at this website to see how relocation is pitched to Orthodox Jews - https://www.ou.org/fair/.

This may be of interest to Christians who are thinking more along the lines of a Benedict Option, etc. It also plays into your discussions about the importance of institutions.

It might be interesting for Christians to think about institutional considerations in moving. I had mentioned knowing that there’s a church to attend. Finding a church is not always a simple matter.

But schools are another potential consideration. Is there a Christian school where you are evaluating a move? It it the type you are looking for (denominationally run, classical, etc)? Can you enroll your children there easily? (Some schools are significantly oversubscribed) Can you afford it?  If you are a homeschooler, is there a community nearby in which you would fit?

As Christianity declined in the US and more people seek to live a Benedict Option lifestyle or something similar, it’s worth thinking about what, institutionally, would need to exist to support that community. Those institutions would then be a prime consideration in any relocation in addition to the various factors I identified.


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