Tell me about Baltimore

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Post Posted: Wed, Sep 11 2013, 7:57 am       Post subject: tell me about Baltimore
I am the OP of the new Baltimore schools thread, but I wanted to start a new one for a slightly different topic.

Tell me, please, about the people in Baltimore.

One of the reasons I *HATE* NY is because both DH and I are not from NY and found that it was very hard to break in and make friends. We are both friendly people and have a lot of friends outside of here, it just seems like the people in our city don't need new friends (that's a different thread all together).

Is Baltimore friendly? Will people come up to us when we move in and welcome us to the neighborhood? Shabbos invitations to new comers? Are new comers "noticed" and are people happy they came?
I am in my 30s and DH is a bit older (almost 40). I know people there, but don't have even one close friend who lives there to give me an "in". Dh was in Kollel there for a year and has a friend or 2, but they are also not people we can count on to lean back on when we first get there.

Are there any shuls to look at when choosing a place to live? Looking for warm, heimish... not a Young Israel shul type of family, though we have been members of YIs in the past and were ok with it, DH is chassidish (wears a shtreimal) but very used to being the only one in the shul with one (we have lived in a few VERY small places before).

Who can tell me about the community life there?
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Post Posted: Wed, Sep 11 2013, 9:53 am       Post subject: re: tell me about Baltimore
I don't live there, but have friends there and have visited many times. It is definitely a much more friendly and welcoming place than NY, though it's still a big place with a lot of different neighborhoods and shuls, each with its own character. It's important to speak to people there and find a place that will be a good fit for you socially. One thing Baltimore doesn't have a lot of is Chassidim in full levush; for a more heimishe shul, check out Rabbi Taub's shul.
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Rubber Ducky

Post Posted: Wed, Sep 11 2013, 10:31 am       Post subject: re: tell me about Baltimore
There's also a heimish shul on Baythorne in the Greenspring area: Merkaz Torah and Tefillah, but I don't know anything more about them.

Buy a copy of the Eruv List, it has all kinds of useful information. The phone # is 410-764-6881.

Try several shuls and find one where you feel comfortable. I am sisterhood president of Agudah of Greenspring. I'd love to have you and your family over for a Shabbos or Yontef meal -- pm me if you'd like to take me up on the offer!
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Post Posted: Wed, Sep 11 2013, 10:36 am       Post subject: re: tell me about Baltimore
Rubber Ducky, that is So nice! Thank you! We are planning Gd willing to move this summer.

Can you tell me about Rabbi Goldbergers shul? I was told we would like it there...
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Post Posted: Wed, Sep 11 2013, 10:39 am       Post subject: re: tell me about Baltimore
I live in Baltimore and depending on which shul you end up going to yes- people are definitely friendly. Dh and I tend to be shy so we don't have a ton of friends and it's hard for us to make new ones b/c of that but in general people are very friendly. We go to a small shul and people are very friendly and definitely notice new people. If you went to a larger shul like Shomrei or Suburban I don't know if you would get as much notice just b/c there are more people there to begin with but you would defintely get more welcomes than a "typical" (or stereotypical) NY shul.
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Post Posted: Wed, Sep 11 2013, 11:10 am       Post subject: re: tell me about Baltimore
Rabbi & Rebitzen Goldberger are warm, friendly & welcoming people. Everyone who knows them.loves them. I have a connection with them but don't daven there,just so you know the perspective. Very wide range of people , but I think almost everyone feels comfortable. A friend from NY once told me that she met the Rabbi . He, wearing his striemel, came over to her, said good shabbos , welcomed her & asked her name. She was shocked but very impressed.
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Post Posted: Thu, Sep 12 2013, 8:17 pm       Post subject: re: tell me about Baltimore
Goldbergers is a very friendly shul- when I was a single who just moved to Baltimore- I found my niche there because people were so warm! I knew no one and got quite a few shabbos invites while I went there. Rabbi goldberger still makes a point of coming to say hello and ask me how I'm doing etc etc (and even knows my name!) whenever I see him in town or at simchas etc and I am on the shy side- so I'm very flattered he knows my name!.... regarding streimels- we know a few streimal wearers here. U will fit in. No worries. Another shul I would like to suggest is rabbi naimans shul on deancroft road in the ranchleigh area. If you are looking for heimish-this is quite heimish. this is also a very small shul. Most of the population at that shul are in their 30s-40s and older (except for my husband and I and son - we r the babies!)- we just love the rabbi and rebbetzin there so much we don't want to leave... Also- they have a Kaddish every shabbos- which is really nice for meeting folks in the kehilla. Pm if you have any additional questions about Baltimore. I am happy to try to answer
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Post Posted: Thu, Sep 12 2013, 8:28 pm       Post subject: re: tell me about Baltimore
I moved to Baltimore 9 years ago and made several good friends here. Most of them, I met through having kids in school together.

People are pretty friendly here, when compared to NY.

Good luck with your move!
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Post Posted: Thu, Sep 12 2013, 8:28 pm       Post subject: re: tell me about Baltimore
baltimore is very nice. there are not a lot of chassidim here but who cares?

the main shuls that have a chassidish feel is Rabbi Eichensteins in Ranchley (very popular, warm, friendly place), Sternhills (or maybe its Herzburgs- I always mix up the two) located in the strathmore/park heights area, Rabbi Taub (not too popular- prob the most authentic chassic crowd though) on clarks lane, and Rabbi Goldburger on Park Heights (more of a baal teshuva crowd).

people are friendly but you need to do the work to be friends also. Invite others to you and you will get return invitations. go to the park with your kids and talk to other mothers. its not at all like NY but it is a big community and you do need to get involved in order to feel a part of things. your not going to be noticed automatically.
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Post Posted: Thu, Sep 12 2013, 10:34 pm       Post subject: re: tell me about Baltimore
I've lived in Baltimore all my life, but at least half of my friends are people I didn't know growing up and came here from other communities. I think it takes some time, but people in the neighborhood/shul definitely notice a new face and are generally welcoming. There are many different neighborhoods, each with their own "feel". I live in the Seven Mile neighborhood which has lots and lots of families with little kids as well as older couples who's kids are teens or married now. There are lots of shuls and you just have to figure out which one works for you, they are all different. I think it's important to figure out as best as you can the area/shul which you'd feel more comfortable and then you'll be fine. I'm happy to host if you ever want to visit Very Happy
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emunah shlaima

Post Posted: Thu, Sep 12 2013, 10:48 pm       Post subject: re: tell me about Baltimore
Baltimore is a great place to raise kids. I have lived her 25 years. My daughter who grew up here just came back from NY and as a married woman is impressed with how friendly people have been. There is a lot of variety here in terms of shuls. I think you will like to closer knit community we have here!
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Post Posted: Thu, Sep 12 2013, 11:19 pm       Post subject: re: tell me about Baltimore
I will share my experience. I have grown up in Baltimore and lived here my whole life. My husband is not from here and had to deal with meeting people in shul.
Baltimore is very big - it is not so likely that you will be noticed. However, if you take the first step, people are much friendlier. So it could be that no one will go up to your husband or notice if he is new, but if he introduces himself, they can easily become friendly.

The same goes for you. No one may know you are new in town as Baltimore is growing so much and there are a lot of people who won't recognize new people. But if you try to introduce yourself to a few people, invite someone, make a playdate for your kids, etc, then people will definitely be friendly with you. Everyone is very nice - they just may not notice you. Don't wait for people to come to you - try to find some people in your area.

It also depends where you live - some streets/neighborhoods are more kid-friendly. A lot depends on the shul. Are you planning to live near Park Heights or Greenspring? Do you know about the different neighborhoods yet.
Feel free to ask me any questions or pm me - I would be happy to meet you or show you around Baltimore!
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