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Old 06-13-2011, 12:45 PM
 
17 posts, read 110,319 times
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Hey, so I've seen a ton of threads about the age old heated argument: Houston vs. Dallas. This is another one, but not really the same. I want get information specifically about the Jewish communities in each city, not really the merits of living in Dallas or Houston. I know that argument will never be settled and that there are positives and negatives about each city.

My husband and I are modern orthodox Jews and are considering a relocation to Texas for school. I am going into physical therapy. We want to find a nice vibrant young Jewish community to live in. We are in our early late 20s, early 30s. Basically, we want to know which one offers more Kosher amenities such as food and restaurants, has more orthodox synagogues, schools, etc.

We're also curious about the associated real estate costs. What are the average housing costs in the areas where most orthodox Jews live in both cities? What's the economic situation like in Dallas and Houston? I know that Texas is at the forefront of economic growth in America right now on paper, but what's the feeling on the ground? How long do you think it would take for us to find a job? What's the average commuting time for people in both cities? I've heard so many different things about the traffic in both Houston and Dallas. What's the real truth?

Any other information would be greatly appreciated. We're trying to get as much research in order to make an informed decision.

Thanks for all your help!!
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Purgatory (A.K.A. Dallas, Texas)
5,010 posts, read 13,171,292 times
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I can't speak for Houston, but I know North Dallas has a large Jewish population, the grocery stores in that area have great koshers sections, etc.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:00 PM
 
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Can't speak for Houston and I'm not Jewish myself, but North Dallas & Richardson are major Jewish neighborhoods in Dallas. If you can find Hillcrest Road on a map and follow it from Loop 12/Northwest Highway all the way north past 635 up to Frankford, you will probably pass at least a dozen or more synagogues. The Jewish Community Center is in North Dallas, just east of Hillcrest on Northaven. The Whole Foods just west of Hillcrest on Forrest is kosher as are many of the bakeries and stores in the area. I always see Jewish follks walking around on Saturday in the northernmost area I described- off Hillcrest just south of Frankford. Believe there is an orthodox temple or two up there.

Housing prices in these neighborhoods are quite expensive- averaging about $500k in the North Dallas area between Northwest Highway and Spring Valley in Richardson and about $200-300k in the area between Spring Valley & Frankford.

Jews are quite welcome in Dallas. Here are some well-known Jewish Dallasites:
Stanley Marcus' parents founded Neiman Marcus in Dallas in 1907
Ray Nasher founded NorthPark Mall in the 1960's
Karen Katz is the current CEO of Neiman Marcus
Laura Miller was the mayor in the early 2000's
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Willowbend/Houston
13,403 posts, read 21,182,398 times
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North Dallas, Richardson, and Plano have huge Jewish communities. Its very common to see places of worship, schools, kosher food stores, etc. in those neighborhoods.

As for which is better, Dallas or Houston, I dont know what kind of difference there is:

Jewish population in the Dallas area: 57,800
Jewish population in the Houston area: 48,400

Its pretty similar I would guess.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:09 PM
 
Location: North Texas
23,989 posts, read 32,793,389 times
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If you are Orthodox you may want to check out the eruvs in North Dallas and Far North Dallas. Shaare Tefilla congregation in north Dallas has exact info on the North Dallas eruv; expect to spend at least $400k on a nice ranch house in Melshire Estates. Knock about $100k off that for the FND eruv. You're really better off in the north Dallas eruv because of all the nearby amenities. The kosher section of the Tom Thumb at Preston and Forest is fantastic and there are various Judaica shops and a few kosher cafes (mainly owned by Israelis) all over Dallas/FND.

Most Jewish people here are Conservative or Reform. I'm Jewish myself.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:30 PM
 
Location: The Village
1,622 posts, read 3,987,767 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aliextrm View Post
Hey, so I've seen a ton of threads about the age old heated argument: Houston vs. Dallas. This is another one, but not really the same. I want get information specifically about the Jewish communities in each city, not really the merits of living in Dallas or Houston. I know that argument will never be settled and that there are positives and negatives about each city.

My husband and I are modern orthodox Jews and are considering a relocation to Texas for school. I am going into physical therapy. We want to find a nice vibrant young Jewish community to live in. We are in our early late 20s, early 30s. Basically, we want to know which one offers more Kosher amenities such as food and restaurants, has more orthodox synagogues, schools, etc.

We're also curious about the associated real estate costs. What are the average housing costs in the areas where most orthodox Jews live in both cities? What's the economic situation like in Dallas and Houston? I know that Texas is at the forefront of economic growth in America right now on paper, but what's the feeling on the ground? How long do you think it would take for us to find a job? What's the average commuting time for people in both cities? I've heard so many different things about the traffic in both Houston and Dallas. What's the real truth?

Any other information would be greatly appreciated. We're trying to get as much research in order to make an informed decision.

Thanks for all your help!!
How "modern orthodox" are you--closer to Conservative or closer to pure Orthodox?

Tiferet Israel is a "traditional" congregation, which I believe means that they have both mixed seating as well as separated seating at services. I think their Congregation has a mix of formerly Conservative and Reform Jews who have become more religious as well as progressive-minded Orthodox Jews who are not willing to become Conservative or Reform--I've heard them described as "Conservadox," but I don't know what exactly that entails.

Shaare Tefilla identifies as Modern Orthodox--I think it's the only shul in Dallas that identifies as such.

I believe the largest congregation that identifies as simply "orthodox" is Ohr HaTorah. I have never been there, so I don't know how orthodox they are. They are not, as far as I know, affiliated with Chabad, but there are multiple Chabad shuls in the area.

If you're Sephardic, there is a Sephardi congregation in Dallas--Magen David in Far North Dallas on Campbell, I believe. I don't know anything about this congregation though.

As far as schools, Houston and Dallas both have good Jewish schools, though they are rather small. Dallas' Modern Orthodox school for K-8 is Akiba Academy and for 9-12 is Yavneh Academy. There is also a Conservative K-8 school, Levine Academy, which is affiliated with the Solomon Schechter network. Houston has Beren, which is also a Modern Orthodox school, and also Emery-Weiner, which is simply "Jewish" and I believe trends more toward Conservative and Reform.

It's quite a common site in the Preston Hollow area to see people walking to and from shul on Saturday morning with tefellin and tzitzit. There are several small Orthodox shuls in the area.

Hope this is helpful--the Dallas Jewish community is very welcoming, but it's also very heavily Reform and Conservative, so if you're coming from somewhere with a much older Jewry, it may seem quite progressive to you. However, it's also a very well established community and has had quite a legacy of successful integration into the Dallas community. I've never once heard of anything anti-Semitic happening here, at least not in the last 50 or more years.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:31 PM
 
Location: The Village
1,622 posts, read 3,987,767 times
Reputation: 668
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurtleCreek80 View Post
Can't speak for Houston and I'm not Jewish myself, but North Dallas & Richardson are major Jewish neighborhoods in Dallas. If you can find Hillcrest Road on a map and follow it from Loop 12/Northwest Highway all the way north past 635 up to Frankford, you will probably pass at least a dozen or more synagogues. The Jewish Community Center is in North Dallas, just east of Hillcrest on Northaven. The Whole Foods just west of Hillcrest on Forrest is kosher as are many of the bakeries and stores in the area. I always see Jewish follks walking around on Saturday in the northernmost area I described- off Hillcrest just south of Frankford. Believe there is an orthodox temple or two up there.

Housing prices in these neighborhoods are quite expensive- averaging about $500k in the North Dallas area between Northwest Highway and Spring Valley in Richardson and about $200-300k in the area between Spring Valley & Frankford.

Jews are quite welcome in Dallas. Here are some well-known Jewish Dallasites:
Stanley Marcus' parents founded Neiman Marcus in Dallas in 1907
Ray Nasher founded NorthPark Mall in the 1960's
Karen Katz is the current CEO of Neiman Marcus
Laura Miller was the mayor in the early 2000's
Just a heads up--the Whole Foods is not kosher, but it does have a large kosher section. The butchers, in particular, are not kosher as far as I'm aware--my family buys pork products there all the time.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:37 PM
 
11,953 posts, read 22,258,598 times
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Originally Posted by theloneranger View Post
Just a heads up--the Whole Foods is not kosher, but it does have a large kosher section. The butchers, in particular, are not kosher as far as I'm aware--my family buys pork products there all the time.
Thanks for clarifying- that's what I meant, there's a very large kosher section, not that the store keeps kosher 100%.
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Old 06-15-2011, 03:42 AM
 
17 posts, read 110,319 times
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Hey guys, thanks for all the replies. From the research I've done, it does seem that Dallas is a better choice. I just had liked the idea of being near the Gulf, but it's not a deciding factor. I know there are lakes around North Dallas. I happen to love the water.

TheloneRanger, I would say we're closer to the "conservidox" index than purely orthodox. We keep the Sabbath and keep Kosher and stuff, but I wear pants and don't cover my hair, and we're more liberal on certain philosophies. We wouldn't fit in with the "black hat" community. We'd be looking for a more open and accepting area and synagogue.

The real estate costs do concern me. I mean, we're young, and we're nowhere near in a position to pay 500 grand for a house right now. I know you're getting a lot for the money, but it's a lot for a young family. We'd be looking more for a 3 bedroom starter home that would be more in the 200-300 range at the most. Are there rental options in the North Dallas area?
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Old 06-15-2011, 04:58 AM
 
Location: North Texas
23,989 posts, read 32,793,389 times
Reputation: 27517
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aliextrm View Post
Hey guys, thanks for all the replies. From the research I've done, it does seem that Dallas is a better choice. I just had liked the idea of being near the Gulf, but it's not a deciding factor. I know there are lakes around North Dallas. I happen to love the water.

TheloneRanger, I would say we're closer to the "conservidox" index than purely orthodox. We keep the Sabbath and keep Kosher and stuff, but I wear pants and don't cover my hair, and we're more liberal on certain philosophies. We wouldn't fit in with the "black hat" community. We'd be looking for a more open and accepting area and synagogue.

The real estate costs do concern me. I mean, we're young, and we're nowhere near in a position to pay 500 grand for a house right now. I know you're getting a lot for the money, but it's a lot for a young family. We'd be looking more for a 3 bedroom starter home that would be more in the 200-300 range at the most. Are there rental options in the North Dallas area?
If you're less orthodox and more conservative you might want to check out Congregation Beth Torah in Richardson, where you can easily find housing to fit your budget. It's a Conservative congregation; I have no experience with it but I hear it's fairly conservative...more so than Shearith Israel, which is probably the most popular Conservative congregation in Dallas. (The most popular reform is Emanu-El.)

Beth Torah is located in the Canyon Creek neighborhood in Richardson where you can easily find a lovely home in the sub-$300k price range but there is also the Waterview neighborhood, The Reservation, Heights Park, etc. Your budget gives you lots of options in 75080, and the schools are terrific.
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