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.