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Old 06-17-2011, 02:32 AM
 
17 posts, read 128,625 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonexpat View Post
The eruv in Far North Dallas/Richardson caters to black hat synagogues associated with Chabad and other ultra-orthodox. I don't think there is a modern orthodox synagogue near that eruv. The Conservative shul--Beth Torah does not have an eruv. I don't know if that is a problem for the OP. Plano has a conservative synagogue which has just completed a beautiful new addition, and there is a newer traditional synagogue in Plano as well with the true mensch Rabbi Yitzah Cohen. The housing around that synagogue would be much less expensive, but you wouldn't have the feeling of community that you would in an eruv.
Having an eruv would be important for us, especially with kids. I'm not familiar with Richardson. Can you tell me more about it, what kind of community it is? Again, we'd be willing to be a little flexible on the kind of shul we went to if the community was a good fix. I don't mind Chabad too much. They're good people. But we definitely would not fit in with the black hat crowd.

In the end, economics will play a huge factor. We're definitely not going to be able to afford a 500K house when we first arrive and if that means we can't live in the North Dallas area because of that, we need to find a nice alternative. And if that means going to a nice conservative shul that shares in the same values as we do, then we'd be open to that as well.
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Old 06-17-2011, 02:44 AM
 
17 posts, read 128,625 times
Reputation: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Betty Jewel View Post
I have lived in Jewish neighborhoods in both Houston and Dallas, although we are not Jewish. We do patronize businesses and community establishments from time to time that cater to the Jewish population but I can't help with finding the right fit for your family religiously speaking. But I can say that I think you could find suitable communities in either city. There are many differences between Houston and Dallas though. Have you considered any of the other needs you have besides religion that might make the choice easier?

I am a huge fan of Houston and I loved it while I lived there (12 years). The people are so genuine and friendly. But after having spent the last two years in Dallas I'm not sure I would be willing to go back. I feel our overall quality of living in Dallas is better. In addition we love our new neighborhood and I seriously doubt that we could find a neighborhood in Houston that we like as much as where we are now for the same amount of money we spent.

I do miss Beldens in Meyerland for grocery shopping, but we are really looking forward to the Natural Playground that is being installed at the Jewish Community Center in Dallas. We only have one son right now but hope to have another child in the next year. I can see the Natural Playground becoming a huge part of our children's future.
Hi Betty, you ask a really great question, and it's something that I've been thinking about a lot. Quality of life is definitely a big factor. Quality of life, for me, would include the right religious life with access to Kosher amenities that would make living easier. Community is a big factor. How are the people? Where can we get an open laid back and, most importantly, open, friendly and accepting community. I've lived in the midwest and the north east. While I hated where I grew up for various reasons, I loved the feel; the easy goingness, the acceptance, the friendliness of people. It was a place where people would say hello to each other and actually cared about each other. I would love to raise my kids in that kind of environment. I hated the snobbiness of the north east. My husband's grandparents live in the Five Towns of Long Island, and it's all about keeping up with the Jones, very superficial, people aren't open, they're very cliquey. And we want the complete opposite of that. It's one of the main reasons we're looking at Texas. I've heard that it has that midwestern down to earth, laid back feel. Is that true? Is that something that the Dallas community can offer us?

Of course, one of the big factors is economic. We're very scared about the whole relocating without a job issue. But when you read that Texas has grossed over 730,000 jobs in the last decade and that the nearest second place state isn't even in the six figures, it makes the fear lessen. But I also want to hear from the people on the ground. Reading figures and stats doesn't mean anything if people feel differently. Where I live we have one of the lowest unemployment rates, but it still took me almost two years to find a job. So what are the chances of us finding a job say within 3-6 months of moving to either Dallas or Houston? What are you guys hearing from people in the trenches?

What else do you think I should consider, Betty? By the way, that playground sounds great!
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:08 AM
 
Location: North Texas
24,561 posts, read 40,022,382 times
Reputation: 28547
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aliextrm View Post
When you say fairly conservative, what do you mean? I've grown up going to a Young Israel for most of my life, one that was open and had people that went there that were on the more right end of orthodox and people who were more on the conservative end. In all honesty, I'm not sure I would be comfortable going to a shul with mixed seating or a Rabbi who used a microphone or services that were not traditional. Does Beth Torah fit into the more liberal category of conservative like that or more traditional conservative where the traditional services are given and things like that? I know there are conservative shuls that are old world conservative. If it was the right fit, I would be able to adjust to certain things like the mixed seating, but the congregation would really have to fit what we're looking for in order to compromise on things that I'm not used to. You know what I mean?
Honestly I don't know; I have never attended services there. That is just what I have heard from other people. You might want to try contacting the congregation itself to get more information.

There is also a Young Israel of Dallas:

http://www.youngisraelofdallas.com/
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:09 AM
 
7 posts, read 12,434 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aliextrm View Post
Hi Betty, you ask a really great question, and it's something that I've been thinking about a lot. Quality of life is definitely a big factor. Quality of life, for me, would include the right religious life with access to Kosher amenities that would make living easier. Community is a big factor. How are the people? Where can we get an open laid back and, most importantly, open, friendly and accepting community. I've lived in the midwest and the north east. While I hated where I grew up for various reasons, I loved the feel; the easy goingness, the acceptance, the friendliness of people. It was a place where people would say hello to each other and actually cared about each other. I would love to raise my kids in that kind of environment. I hated the snobbiness of the north east. My husband's grandparents live in the Five Towns of Long Island, and it's all about keeping up with the Jones, very superficial, people aren't open, they're very cliquey. And we want the complete opposite of that. It's one of the main reasons we're looking at Texas. I've heard that it has that midwestern down to earth, laid back feel. Is that true? Is that something that the Dallas community can offer us?

Of course, one of the big factors is economic. We're very scared about the whole relocating without a job issue. But when you read that Texas has grossed over 730,000 jobs in the last decade and that the nearest second place state isn't even in the six figures, it makes the fear lessen. But I also want to hear from the people on the ground. Reading figures and stats doesn't mean anything if people feel differently. Where I live we have one of the lowest unemployment rates, but it still took me almost two years to find a job. So what are the chances of us finding a job say within 3-6 months of moving to either Dallas or Houston? What are you guys hearing from people in the trenches?

What else do you think I should consider, Betty? By the way, that playground sounds great!
The Natural Playground is going to be fantastic once completed. The JCC raised over $500,000 to develop it. I'm anxiously awaiting the completion of the project.

I'm not going to lie. People in Dallas can be pretty snobby and generally speaking people in Houston are much more friendly and laid back. Fortunately there are enough people in Dallas who are "not from Dallas" to make it bearable.

As for jobs I have no idea. My job allows me to work from anywhere and my husband's field is not currently affected by the down economy. I guess it would depend on what field you're working in. Houston is dominated by the oil and gas industry and the medical center is also a large source of employment.

One of the things I failed to mention that would be a big factor for me is the crime rate in each city in relation to the Jewish communities. In Houston the Jewish community is mostly in and around Meyerland in Southwest Houston. Meyerland is adjacent to Fondren which honestly has the worst violent crime rate in Houston. Are you likely to be raped or murdered in Meyerland? No, but it's not unheard of for people in Meyerland to be robbed at gun point in their driveway in broad daylight. Crime rates right now are generally higher since the economy is suffering. If you chose Houston and wanted to live in Meyerland I would try to pick a location closer to the 610 loop and farther from the Fondren area.

I'm happy to answer any questions about differences between both cities without the usual flame war comments since I truly love both cities, each for different reasons. But again I'm not Jewish and I can only share my feelings about our quality of life in our new neighborhood.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Richardson, TX
8,734 posts, read 13,738,138 times
Reputation: 3807
I need to get www.mapmyeruv.com up and running.
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Old 06-18-2011, 08:57 PM
 
Location: The Village
1,621 posts, read 4,564,559 times
Reputation: 692
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aliextrm View Post
When you say fairly conservative, what do you mean? I've grown up going to a Young Israel for most of my life, one that was open and had people that went there that were on the more right end of orthodox and people who were more on the conservative end. In all honesty, I'm not sure I would be comfortable going to a shul with mixed seating or a Rabbi who used a microphone or services that were not traditional. Does Beth Torah fit into the more liberal category of conservative like that or more traditional conservative where the traditional services are given and things like that? I know there are conservative shuls that are old world conservative. If it was the right fit, I would be able to adjust to certain things like the mixed seating, but the congregation would really have to fit what we're looking for in order to compromise on things that I'm not used to. You know what I mean?
I don't know much about Beth Torah. As far as the Dallas congregations, I think you'd be in between Tiferet Israel ("Traditional") and Shaare Tefilla ("Modern Orthodox") from what I know of them. In the North Dallas eruv, there really isn't this choice. You go right from Conservative to caftaned Orthodox--these two Dallas options are in between.

Tiferet does not have a mechitzah, and has men's and women's sections with a mixed section in-between, offering the choice (as their newsletter once described it, "members who prefer a mechitza and members who graciously volunteer their bodies to be the mechitza"). Shaare has men's and women's sections with mechitzah from what I know.

Here's some info on Tiferet, describing somewhat how "Conservadox" they are:
Tiferet Israel at 120 | TJP
neighborsgo.com: post your community news
Road wasn't easy for first woman to be president of Dallas synagogue | Denton Record Chronicle | News for Denton County, Texas | Religion (http://www.dentonrc.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/religion/stories/DN-relpresident_31met.ART.East.Edition1.4663d65.html - broken link)
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Old 06-19-2011, 02:06 AM
 
17 posts, read 128,625 times
Reputation: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Betty Jewel View Post
The Natural Playground is going to be fantastic once completed. The JCC raised over $500,000 to develop it. I'm anxiously awaiting the completion of the project.

I'm not going to lie. People in Dallas can be pretty snobby and generally speaking people in Houston are much more friendly and laid back. Fortunately there are enough people in Dallas who are "not from Dallas" to make it bearable.

As for jobs I have no idea. My job allows me to work from anywhere and my husband's field is not currently affected by the down economy. I guess it would depend on what field you're working in. Houston is dominated by the oil and gas industry and the medical center is also a large source of employment.

One of the things I failed to mention that would be a big factor for me is the crime rate in each city in relation to the Jewish communities. In Houston the Jewish community is mostly in and around Meyerland in Southwest Houston. Meyerland is adjacent to Fondren which honestly has the worst violent crime rate in Houston. Are you likely to be raped or murdered in Meyerland? No, but it's not unheard of for people in Meyerland to be robbed at gun point in their driveway in broad daylight. Crime rates right now are generally higher since the economy is suffering. If you chose Houston and wanted to live in Meyerland I would try to pick a location closer to the 610 loop and farther from the Fondren area.

I'm happy to answer any questions about differences between both cities without the usual flame war comments since I truly love both cities, each for different reasons. But again I'm not Jewish and I can only share my feelings about our quality of life in our new neighborhood.
Betty, you seem to be really knowledgeable. I would definitely love to hear more of your take on both cities. I posted in the Houston thread and instead of all the helpful information that I've gotten here some guy decided to post a bunch of gibberish about how my post is just another us vs. them and that religion and my kind of thinking is what has brought all the evil in the world. That already puts Dallas more in favor than Houston. Houston might be a more generally favorable place to live, but the people in the Dallas thread have been a lot more helpful than in the Houston one.
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Old 06-19-2011, 02:08 AM
 
17 posts, read 128,625 times
Reputation: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by theloneranger View Post
I don't know much about Beth Torah. As far as the Dallas congregations, I think you'd be in between Tiferet Israel ("Traditional") and Shaare Tefilla ("Modern Orthodox") from what I know of them. In the North Dallas eruv, there really isn't this choice. You go right from Conservative to caftaned Orthodox--these two Dallas options are in between.

Tiferet does not have a mechitzah, and has men's and women's sections with a mixed section in-between, offering the choice (as their newsletter once described it, "members who prefer a mechitza and members who graciously volunteer their bodies to be the mechitza"). Shaare has men's and women's sections with mechitzah from what I know.

Here's some info on Tiferet, describing somewhat how "Conservadox" they are:
Tiferet Israel at 120 | TJP
neighborsgo.com: post your community news
Road wasn't easy for first woman to be president of Dallas synagogue | Denton Record Chronicle | News for Denton County, Texas | Religion (http://www.dentonrc.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/religion/stories/DN-relpresident_31met.ART.East.Edition1.4663d65.html - broken link)
I went to Tiferet's website and was really interested in how they run things. It does seem right up my ally in that it caters to everyone while denying no one anything. That really interests me. And it's located in that North Dallas area where the eruv is?
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:10 AM
 
Location: North Texas
24,561 posts, read 40,022,382 times
Reputation: 28547
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aliextrm View Post
I went to Tiferet's website and was really interested in how they run things. It does seem right up my ally in that it caters to everyone while denying no one anything. That really interests me. And it's located in that North Dallas area where the eruv is?
Tiferet is actually a couple of miles south of the north Dallas eruv; it is not adjacent to it.
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:56 AM
 
Location: ITL (Houston)
9,221 posts, read 15,841,975 times
Reputation: 3545
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aliextrm View Post
Betty, you seem to be really knowledgeable. I would definitely love to hear more of your take on both cities. I posted in the Houston thread and instead of all the helpful information that I've gotten here some guy decided to post a bunch of gibberish about how my post is just another us vs. them and that religion and my kind of thinking is what has brought all the evil in the world. That already puts Dallas more in favor than Houston. Houston might be a more generally favorable place to live, but the people in the Dallas thread have been a lot more helpful than in the Houston one.
Yeah, that one guy ruined your entire thread with a bunch of nonsense. He did change up and respond though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Betty Jewel View Post
The Natural Playground is going to be fantastic once completed. The JCC raised over $500,000 to develop it. I'm anxiously awaiting the completion of the project.

I'm not going to lie. People in Dallas can be pretty snobby and generally speaking people in Houston are much more friendly and laid back. Fortunately there are enough people in Dallas who are "not from Dallas" to make it bearable.

As for jobs I have no idea. My job allows me to work from anywhere and my husband's field is not currently affected by the down economy. I guess it would depend on what field you're working in. Houston is dominated by the oil and gas industry and the medical center is also a large source of employment.

One of the things I failed to mention that would be a big factor for me is the crime rate in each city in relation to the Jewish communities. In Houston the Jewish community is mostly in and around Meyerland in Southwest Houston. Meyerland is adjacent to Fondren which honestly has the worst violent crime rate in Houston. Are you likely to be raped or murdered in Meyerland? No, but it's not unheard of for people in Meyerland to be robbed at gun point in their driveway in broad daylight. Crime rates right now are generally higher since the economy is suffering. If you chose Houston and wanted to live in Meyerland I would try to pick a location closer to the 610 loop and farther from the Fondren area.

I'm happy to answer any questions about differences between both cities without the usual flame war comments since I truly love both cities, each for different reasons. But again I'm not Jewish and I can only share my feelings about our quality of life in our new neighborhood.
Actually, Houston's crime rate is the lowest it has been in a decades. It's the lowest crime rate many generations have seen actually. And the Fondren area is only really bad around the apartments. The single family homes aren't (getting closer to Sharpstown), especially around the Catholic high schools (Strake and St. Agnes). I was just in Houston last weekend, and the city has been fixing up these areas. A lot of new landscaping, repaved roads with asphalt, increased police presence, etc.

Can't really go wrong with either city. Both have their pluses and minuses.
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