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amother




Blush


Post  Thu, Nov 19 2015, 7:02 am
My husband just found out about the perfect job for him in Seattle. He wants to send his resume today and he's ready to move tomorrow as its really a dream job for him. However, I've been googling about the Seattle Jewish community and I am coming up with a lot of conflicting information.

We are just frum (maybe moder orthodox with some Chabad leanings from our previous Shuls.) have a few younger kids.

Anyone have any idea what the chinuch is like? What neighborhood would be a good fit? Seems like there are a few frum areas? Stewart park? North end? Bellevue? Mercer island? Capital hill? Bit confused. Also I have a friend who went there also for a Shabbos and she said the whole time at the Shul, I think bikur Cholim was the name. Maybe not. In capital hill ( I could be getting confused) they were just being so aggressive about selling their community to them? Like she felt it was really fake?

Anyone live there? Can give me more details.

Oddly I think the Pacific Northwest life style would fit us to a tee. Outdoorsy, natural organic etc.. That's totally our family.

I'm really just concerned about the Jewish community aspect.

If anyone has any insights I would love to hear.

Anon. Cuz this is still in the is this an option stage and not something I want everyone to know about.

Thanks so much!
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Iymnok









  


Post  Thu, Nov 19 2015, 7:34 am
The bulk of the community is in Seward Park. The North End is nearly exclusively Chabad, Capitol Hill is where the community was before moving to Seward park like 50 years ago. There is still a remnant there, with a shabbos Shul walking distance to the hospitals.
There is a modern co-Ed highschool on Mercer Island that is a Chabad Shul on Shabbos. Mercer Island is expensive.
There may be some kiruv going on in Bellvue and other suburbs and nearby cities.
There are three schools, Chabad, Seattle Hebrew Academy and Torah Day School. I haven't been there for nearly 10 years so I don't know all the politics.

The shuls are Bikur Cholim Machzikei Hadas- Ashkenaz
Sephardic Bikur Holim - Sefardi
Ezra Beseroth- Rhodes
There may be some stArt up minyanim, but I'm not around, and my parents try to avoid the politics.

Feel free to pm me for access to others with information.
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amother




Blush


Post  Thu, Nov 19 2015, 8:00 am
Thanks so much.

Just two questions.

1: I feel like a total idiot. And I'm sure this is totally obvious but what is a Rhodes Shul? The only Rhodes I am familiar with is a Rhodes scholar so all I can think of is a Shul for smart people, although I am sure that's not what it is.

2. I checked out the website of all the Shuls and the one on mercer island doesn't seem to be Chabad at all? Shevet achim? Did it switch?

Thanks so much.
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Iymnok









  


Post  Thu, Nov 19 2015, 8:06 am
They are from the island of Rhodes. Thus have different minhagim.

Could be, Rabbi Kornfeld is a Lubavitch Rabbi. He may run it mainstream though. Everyone loves him.

In general, most frum people in the Seattle area are BT's abs geirim. Some children return as adults, the other FFBs are rabbis, in chinuch or came for parnassa.
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amother




Blush


Post  Thu, Nov 19 2015, 9:23 am
Thank you
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amother




Olive


Post  Thu, Nov 19 2015, 10:05 am
Iymnok wrote:
The bulk of the community is in Seward Park. The North End is nearly exclusively Chabad, Capitol Hill is where the community was before moving to Seward park like 50 years ago. There is still a remnant there, with a shabbos Shul walking distance to the hospitals.
There is a modern co-Ed highschool on Mercer Island that is a Chabad Shul on Shabbos. Mercer Island is expensive.
There may be some kiruv going on in Bellvue and other suburbs and nearby cities.
There are three schools, Chabad, Seattle Hebrew Academy and Torah Day School. I haven't been there for nearly 10 years so I don't know all the politics.

The shuls are Bikur Cholim Machzikei Hadas- Ashkenaz
Sephardic Bikur Holim - Sefardi
Ezra Beseroth- Rhodes
There may be some stArt up minyanim, but I'm not around, and my parents try to avoid the politics.

Feel free to pm me for access to others with information.


There's also Minyan Ohr Chadash (MO) and Ashreichem Yisrael (nussach Sfard). Both new, both in Seward Park.

The high school is Northwest Yeshiva High School (co-ed). There's a new girls' HS, Derech Emunah, that I don't know much about. Many people send away their sons for HS (to Vancouver, Ner Yisrael, etc.).
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amother




Lemon


Post  Thu, Nov 19 2015, 10:54 am
I grew up in Seattle. It used to be much more modern orthodox. Since then, there have been many baali teshuva that either evolved or moved there. It is much more polarized now than it was when I was growing up. The SHA/Ohr Chadash scene is VERY modern [very feminist, zionist, don't keep tznyus]. I went there when I was a kid and a good portion of the school didn't keep kosher or kashrus, and since then the group like that is a much higher percentage. There is a small Chabad school and community in the North End. There is also a small kiruv community in Mercer Island, but the only day school over there is reform.
Most people live in Seward Park. The new "community" school is TDS, which is in Seward Park. The more frum modern orthodox, the on fire BTs, and the rebbe's kids go to that school. It is mainstream and inclusive and has very good education and positive atmosphere. BCMH, the modern Orthodox shul, used to be the main Ashkanaz shul, but it is rabbi-less right now [is that the job he was offered?] There are two Sephardi shuls, SBH--Sephardic Bikor Cholim, and EB--Ezra Besoroth. Ashraichem is a wonderful shul with mostly on-fire-BTs, or becoming BTs. They are into growth, spirituality, singing, and have a very inspiring rabbi. It is not really Chassidish except for the rabbi and overall positive atmosphere in the shul. Ohr Chodosh is headed by the previous rabbi of BCMH, Rabbi Kletenic. The woman are given a more active role in the shul than an average Orthodox shul. It is located in a church. There is no Chabad shul in Sewerd Park. For high school, there is a small Bais Yaakov like school that Mrs. David from the Kollel runs. I do not know so much about it. NYHS is a very modern high school [girlfriend/boyfriend, drugs, drinking, plenty of non-shomer mitzvos families] with a "chait's" hashkafa, which is not mainstream in the rest of USA. There is a Chofetz Chaim boys school in Vancouver than many of the more frum boys go to, as well as a boys school in Calabasas, CA that some go to. There is a good presence of Aish, kollel, and chinuch families. That said, the overwhelming majority is still staunchly modern orthodox.
The biggest advantage to a place like Seattle, in my opinion, is the lack of superficiality of the BT crowd. For the most part, the community is made up of authentic, thinking, caring people. And the scenery is hard to beat! The biggest disadvantage is that if you are way off the spectrum of available institutions, you need to send your children out of town for high school and put up with things that the majority of families don't care about when the children are younger. Hope that is helpful!
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amother




Babyblue


Post  Thu, Nov 19 2015, 11:37 am
I don't live in Seattle but I have close family members that do. I'm surprised by the amother above me because my experience with the community members has been so different. I can't speak for each of the Shuls and I'm sure there are politics like anywhere else but my impression is of most families being extremely sincere MO. It's a tight knit community and there is a lot of chessed. Many of the families There are some of the nicest I've ever met and the kids, elementary and high school ages, are very wholesome. Like I said, I know there are issues in the schools, like anywhere else, but the group of high school students I've met several times are modern but wholesome. Not a fast paced group fooling around and drinking. Disclaimer- I don't live there and I'm not pretending I know all the ins and outs. Its not a typical mainstream community and won't be everyone's cup of tea. But if the Pacific Northwest/MO/small community thing appeals to you at all, IMHO it's worth exploring further.
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FranticFrummie









  


Post  Thu, Nov 19 2015, 11:47 am
I lived in Seattle for 23 years, before I just made Aliyah. I've been to all the shuls, was active in the Kollel, and can answer lots of your questions. Feel free to PM me any time!

Lemon amother, I'm dying to know who you are!
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Iymnok









  


Post  Thu, Nov 19 2015, 12:14 pm
FranticFrummie wrote:
I lived in Seattle for 23 years, before I just made Aliyah. I've been to all the shuls, was active in the Kollel, and can answer lots of your questions. Feel free to PM me any time!

Lemon amother, I'm dying to know who you are!

Me too! I didn't know that there are other Seattle members here!
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amother




Beige


Post  Thu, Nov 19 2015, 2:24 pm
I also grew up in Seattle. It is a very hard place to raise your kids frum. Granted TDS wasn't there when I lived there but my family still does and from what I hear and the times I've been back there not much has changed. Kids really struggle to stay frum (as I did). unless you are very modern or very lubavitch and plan to stay within that community, I wouldn't recommend it. There are a lot of nice things about Seattle but I do think you should be aware of this issue.
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FranticFrummie









  


Post  Thu, Nov 19 2015, 2:32 pm
amother wrote:
I also grew up in Seattle. It is a very hard place to raise your kids frum. Granted TDS wasn't there when I lived there but my family still does and from what I hear and the times I've been back there not much has changed. Kids really struggle to stay frum (as I did). unless you are very modern or very lubavitch and plan to stay within that community, I wouldn't recommend it. There are a lot of nice things about Seattle but I do think you should be aware of this issue.


This is the #1 reason why we made Aliyah. DD was in middle school, and things were going downhill quickly.

If any of your kids have any learning issues AT ALL, you can also forget about getting any help. You'll pay a fortune in tuition, and then they'll tell you that they can't afford anything extra, not even classroom accommodations like moving a desk around. Mad
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Iymnok









  


Post  Thu, Nov 19 2015, 2:41 pm
amother wrote:
I also grew up in Seattle. It is a very hard place to raise your kids frum. Granted TDS wasn't there when I lived there but my family still does and from what I hear and the times I've been back there not much has changed. Kids really struggle to stay frum (as I did). unless you are very modern or very lubavitch and plan to stay within that community, I wouldn't recommend it. There are a lot of nice things about Seattle but I do think you should be aware of this issue.

That's why the frummer/more yeshivish families send their kids away for highschool. Then they go to Israel or east coast yeshiva afterwards only possibly returning for kiruv.
There is a good reason I'm raising my kids in Israel, not Seattle as much as I love it.
I'd love to go for a visit, but the price is prohibitive if I bring the whole family.
Though with TDS, Vancouver, a Kollel in Portland, a girls highschool... It's a very different place than I grew up in.
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amother




Silver


Post  Thu, Nov 19 2015, 2:42 pm
I grew up in Seattle. There was a struggle to remain frum at the Northwest Yeshiva High School, but I imagine that it would be the same struggle as if I had gone to any of the MO, co-ed schools in the NYC area, where girls wear pants out of school, adolescents date, and halakhic observance isn't cool. That said, I and a lot of my peers made it through and thrived and are frum today. I'm still very close with lots of my childhood friends.

Anyway, nowadays there is a girls' high school with 15 students, expecting to have more like 25 or 30 students in two more years. I imagine that the adolescent experience is really very different there.

From my visits back home, I get the impression that the generation raising kids in Seattle now is less "out-of-towny" than my parents' generation that was raising me; it's more halachically observant, not quite as many baalei teshuva. The laid-back culture is still very present, and the community is still very warm people feel really close ties to their community. It is also quite a bit more polarized, with three different Ashkenazic places to daven. In my day we had the whole spectrum trying to find its place in one proud but un-harmonious big tent, which obviously didn't work out so well, but does leave one a bit nostalgic.
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amother




Beige


Post  Thu, Nov 19 2015, 8:31 pm
There was a struggle to remain frum at the Northwest Yeshiva High School, but I imagine that it would be the same struggle as if I had gone to any of the MO, co-ed schools in the NYC area

I have to disagree with you here. Northwest Yeshiva high school has gotten worse rather than better. They are NOT modern orthodox!! They are a mix between conservative, reform and orthodox. They have judaic teachers from all those secs teaching judiasm. They get a lot of funding from the reform and do a lot of catering to them. In my day it was modern orthodox. Now I wouldn't even call it that.

Anyway, nowadays there is a girls' high school with 15 students, expecting to have more like 25 or 30 students in two more years. I imagine that the adolescent experience is really very different there.

This school just started this year.

From my visits back home, I get the impression that the generation raising kids in Seattle now is less "out-of-towny" than my parents' generation that was raising me; it's more halachically observant, not quite as many baalei teshuva.

This has been true the past few years but just last year many of the "seattle yeshivish" have moved out. I also have teenage siblings still in Seattle and no matter how much it has moved right, there are major issues
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amother




Beige


Post  Thu, Nov 19 2015, 8:51 pm
I am the amother from above. I couldn't figure out the quotes so I underlined my responses to a different amother. I also wanted to add that there are people that come through the system and remain frum (few) but it is a real struggle. The other thing that might be an issue for you is that Seattle is VERY liberal. That means that your children will be exposed to gays, and drugs at a young age. So if your going to move there have some ready answers for these kinds of things. I also wanted to mention that I happen to love Seattle. It is such a warm and comfortable place. Everyone is happy doing their own thing and there is no pressure to conform. The city itself is stunning. They have many fun and outdoorsy things to do especially for kids. You certainly can't beat the lack of snow. The city shuts down for a dusting. It's awesome! If I wasn't frum this would be my dream place to live. I love bringing my family for a visit and they love it too. I wouldn't live there tho unless I had no other options.
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momtra









  


Post  Thu, Nov 19 2015, 10:11 pm
Isn't there a Rabbi Chait community in Seattle?
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amother




Lemon


Post  Thu, Nov 19 2015, 10:15 pm
It is not the community that is Chait's. NYHS [the high school] is Chaits like a small group in Florida. They don't believe in Hashgacha Pratis or connecting to Hashem with emotions [only intellect]. It is not mainstream.
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Iymnok









  


Post  Fri, Nov 20 2015, 3:01 am
What beige Amother said. But hasn't Rabbi Engelsberg been the principal of the girls highschool for the last year or two?
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