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Calling those who live in/near Philadelphia
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amother




Oak


Post  Wed, May 08 2019, 8:31 pm
If you are considering living in the northeast, also look at jobs in Bucks County, which is adjacent to the northern border of Philadelphia. This would be a very easy commute, and probably an easier caseload. If you want a challenge, the city would provide it! If you are working in the preschool EI or birth to 3, a lot of the positions are itinerant, so you would need to be able to drive.
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amother




Sienna


Post  Wed, May 08 2019, 9:18 pm
It is my understanding that if you send your children to Politz and live in the Northeast frum community, you can send your children to school tuition free because it's a failing public school system in the Northeast. The Northeast homes are also considered affordable in the Tri-State area.
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amother




Coral


Post  Mon, May 13 2019, 11:09 pm
I am not quite ready to make a move but I would like to explore this option and visit the community to see if it's even a possibility. I may be giving away my ID by describing what I'm looking for but I ask that you keep any speculation to yourself. Listing my questions/concerns in random order.

1. What are the names of neighborhoods where there is frum community, affordable housing, and tuition vouchers or affordable tuition?
Northeast is one area that is affordable and has EITC tuition program

2. I am looking to rent rather than own a home. What is the rental scene like - what's the price range, do people rent apartments or houses, if apartments are there "frum" buildings, are there rentals in the frum neighborhoods in general?

lots of 2-3 bedroom duplex's in the Northeast that people rent. Thier are some apartments in buildings where a few frum people live as well.

3. Schools: What's the voucher/tuition situation there? Can you tell me about the schools frum people send to? We are middle of the road, not really yeshivish but not MO either, leaning more toward yeshivish in practice but more toward MO in open-mindedness... are there JPF ("Just plain frum") schools? Can you tell me about your schools? Do tuition vouchers/breaks depend on the schools or on where you live? If it depends on schools please specify if the schools you are talking about qualify.
Currently my children are in elementary school but in case we stay long term I would like to hear about high schools also. I have girls for whom sending away to dorm would not be an option for me personally.

Yes their are JPF schools.
If you live in PA and make under a certain amount you can get EITC. I believe you can get even more if you live in failing public school district.
Kosloff Torah Academy is the girls high school


3. More on schools: What accommodations and services are there for special needs? I have a couple of kids in the category of "needs a little help" in both social/emotional and academics. We are coming from NY where there is DOE support, and they are also in a school that is very supportive and teachers are well attuned to inclusion and differentiation. Please tell me about the Philly/area schools in this regard.
I know Politz is definitely accommodating for special needs.

4. Community - what's it like to be new there? Are there ways to get to know people and make friends? Without meaning any LH sometimes people who have lived together longer are harder to get to know... I have people in my current community who are the warmest nicest people but their relationships can still be described as cliquey... KWIM?

Lots of people have moved to the Northeast recently. Their are opportunities where ladies get together to welcome newcomers and I think people are warm and very open to new friendships and excited when new people move in!

5. Speaking of which, is it the kind of place where people live long-term and set up roots? I'm afraid to commit but after having lived in a transient home for a while I am craving a real home... I feel like I have solid "forever" footing in my current community but financially NY is not working out otherwise I would probably never leave Sad
Yes!

6. Job market - I work in the field of education but I prefer not to look for a full-time classroom teaching job. I currently work as a private consultant, SEIT, and evaluator. I know SEIT and possibly also EI/preschool evaluations are a very NY thing and I realize that by moving away I will need to make some big personal adjustments. What kinds of jobs are there in the Philly area in education/special ed? Is there a market for part-time or contractual work? What are the salaries like? What are the salaries for full-time teaching jobs like? Please note that due to my family's needs I am NOT interested in after-school or weekend tutoring types of positions. Part time for me means while my children are in school.
Their are definitely opportunities for special-ed- contract work. Especially EI and the Elwyn (preschool early intervention program) . Agency work can range ~60/70 an hour is an estimate, but I am not positive

7. OK, done with questions for now but open mic to tell me whatever you want.
Try to contact the shul and arrange to visit for a shabbos!
All the best and much hatzlacha!
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amother




OP


Post  Tue, May 14 2019, 12:15 am
Thank you so much! You sound like you really know your way around.

Regarding special ed jobs, are you in that field or know someone I could speak to? I see that we're both hiding as amother so if that's a concern for you maybe you can tell the shul outreach people that if someone comes calling looking for special ed career info they should send me your way?!

Any idea how much the 2-3 bedroom duplex rentals run? Are there specific buildings that are "frum" that I should look for?

It's comforting that you say there is JPF schools/community. Can you please elaborate? Because someone I was talking to recently (doesn't live in Phil but knows people...?) scared me off saying it's pretty split between kollel families and modern. I'm right in between and need a tribe.
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amother




Honeydew


Post  Tue, May 14 2019, 3:03 pm
amother [ Sienna ] wrote:
It is my understanding that if you send your children to Politz and live in the Northeast frum community, you can send your children to school tuition free because it's a failing public school system in the Northeast. The Northeast homes are also considered affordable in the Tri-State area.


Tuition in Politz is not free. The education improvement tax credit covers a portion of the tuition if you qualify (the income threshold to qualify is high) and then I believe there are additional scholarship sources if you qualify, but in no way is the tuition free, I think it is just more affordable based on your income than in other cities.
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rachlglsr




 
 
 


Post  Thu, May 16 2019, 12:46 pm
Sorry for the delayed response. I live in Elkins Park PA and we love it!!! We relocated from NY last year. There is a selection of yeshivot etc. If you would lile to discuss mkre you can PM me and ill give you my number.
Renting is mostly apts, houses range from 200-400k.
We pay 1300/mo for a 2 bedroom garden apt.
The community it lovely and there are tuition vouchers. While you would need to make a small effort to be social you wont get lost in the crowd like living in a big city
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, May 16 2019, 1:02 pm
rachlglsr wrote:
Sorry for the delayed response. I live in Elkins Park PA and we love it!!! We relocated from NY last year. There is a selection of yeshivot etc. If you would lile to discuss mkre you can PM me and ill give you my number.
Renting is mostly apts, houses range from 200-400k.
We pay 1300/mo for a 2 bedroom garden apt.
The community it lovely and there are tuition vouchers. While you would need to make a small effort to be social you wont get lost in the crowd like living in a big city

Can you please clarify the neighborhoods? What's Elkins Park like? How far apart or how separate are the different areas?

1300 doesn't sound like that much of a bargain to me. It's less than an apt that size in NY but not enough less to uproot for. How do salaries and tuition compare to NY? What is tuition rate with and without vouchers?
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amother




Violet


Post  Thu, May 16 2019, 1:10 pm
rachlglsr wrote:
Sorry for the delayed response. I live in Elkins Park PA and we love it!!! We relocated from NY last year. There is a selection of yeshivot etc. If you would lile to discuss mkre you can PM me and ill give you my number.
Renting is mostly apts, houses range from 200-400k.
We pay 1300/mo for a 2 bedroom garden apt.
The community it lovely and there are tuition vouchers. While you would need to make a small effort to be social you wont get lost in the crowd like living in a big city


Not to hijack, but I grew up pretty close to Elkins Park, and its very cool to see someone living there now.
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amother001




 
 
 


Post  Thu, May 16 2019, 3:08 pm
Elkins Park is a smaller community that is about 15-20 minutes drive from the Northeast. Northeast Philadelphia is about 40 minutes drive from Lower Merion. I would say that both Torah Academy and Politz are JPF community schools, but Torah Academy is more centrist orthodox, and Politz has a yeshivish hanhala and leans to the right. However both are community schools so there is a range in the student body.

The Northeast is definitely more affordable. I believe that most people rent duplexes (twin homes are split into apartments, so a ground level entry and an upstairs rental) that go for $800-$1,300. I have also seen whole twin homes for rent for $1,500. There seems to be quite a range. The duplexes have 2-3 bedrooms and a bathroom.

EITC vouchers apply no matter where you are living, since it is a PA program, not just limited to Philadelphia.

It sounds like you could find your niche in either community, but based on what you are looking for and describing Northeast might be a better fit. It is a down to earth community and very welcoming. The houses are all very similar so no matter your living arrangements your children would feel comfortable and feel like they fit in with the rest of the neighbors.
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rachlglsr




 
 
 


Post  Thu, May 16 2019, 3:38 pm
We found the 1300 to be quite a bargain, we were paying much more in NY! Our apt is large includes a parking space and a storage unit. Although, no the biggest bargain is buying. We chose EP over northeast mainly bc we liked the aesthetically beauty and a smaller close not community.
Salaries I find to be the same. Im not a great person to ask about tuition since my kids are still in nursery but I think tuition is about 10k in politz, although with the vouchers it is much less.
EP is like a 15 minute drive to the northeast.



amother [ OP ] wrote:
Can you please clarify the neighborhoods? What's Elkins Park like? How far apart or how separate are the different areas?

1300 doesn't sound like that much of a bargain to me. It's less than an apt that size in NY but not enough less to uproot for. How do salaries and tuition compare to NY? What is tuition rate with and without vouchers?
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rachlglsr




 
 
 


Post  Thu, May 16 2019, 3:38 pm
amother [ Violet ] wrote:
Not to hijack, but I grew up pretty close to Elkins Park, and its very cool to see someone living there now.


So nice. Yes bh the community is really starting to grow again!!
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, May 16 2019, 3:54 pm
Thank you so much.

I could see potentially renting something in the cheaper area until I see if we are doing well enough to want to settle in, and then looking to either buy or rent in the nicer area. But if they're each in separate communities then that isn't such a great idea because it will be hard to shift relationships, I'd want to make friends in my immediate neighborhood without having to keep uprooting... I guess when I figure out what my income potential is then I'll be better able to figure out what makes sense. If special ed requires a lot of going between different locations and only the bigger homes come with parking spots, that might be more important than it sounds...

Speaking of which: If you live in NE, how is the public transportation? Is a car important? I'm coming from NY where you can literally get everywhere.
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amother




Coral


Post  Thu, May 16 2019, 4:00 pm
Car is definently important in the Northeast. Thier is public transportation but most people have car and it wouls be challenging without one if you have kids. Parking is not an issue at all.
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, May 16 2019, 4:56 pm
Thank you! There is ample parking within the city? Cool. In NY having a caseload within a couple of schools at most is a real make-it or break-it, because as soon as you need to travel between locations you need to add on either a lot of time or a lot of money for parking. I am extremely lucky to have all my cases within walking distance the last couple of years but it took some time to earn that, plus a lot of mazel.
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amother




Firebrick


Post  Wed, Sep 04 2019, 10:48 pm
Hi OP. Was wondering if you are making move to phylli. Was interested as well in the move but don’t know were to begin
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amother




OP


Post  Wed, Sep 04 2019, 11:56 pm
We had a wonderful weekend there and my kids are ready to buy a house. However tying together all the logistics was too daunting for me at this time so we're staying "in town" for now with intention to reconsider in maybe a year or so when we see how other life factors play out.
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