Meet me in St. Louis—or, if you’re looking for a burgeoning Jewish community that taps into the resources of a major metro hub, consider Chesterfield, a western suburb of St. Louis.
Tpheris Israel Chevra Kadisha Congregation (known as TICK), is the shul at the heart of the community, according to Michael Treisman, a doctor who moved to Chesterfield over 20 years ago from South Africa, and serves as a community spokesperson when he is not seeing patients. “TICK offers daily minyanim, chavrutah learning, and shiurim, and a kollel providing intensive Talmudic study,” said Treisman. “The 80-member shul is led by Rabbi Aaron Winter and counts Jews at all levels, but most of whom are Shomer Shabbat.”
The community, though small, includes a mikveh, a seven-mile eruv, and a JCC. Since it’s in close proximity to the Orthodox community of University City (U City) in St. Louis, more extensive resources—like a Bais Yaakov High School for girls, a co-ed Kadimah high school, and two elementary schools—are only 20 minutes away.
Chesterfield also boasts a well-regarded high school, the Missouri Torah Institute, which outgrew its base at TICK and moved to its own 100,000 square-foot campus less than 10 minutes away. Around 80 of the nearly 100 students in the school and Beis Medrash live in the dorms since they hail from 26 different U.S. cities.
As for kosher food, takeout options are limited but delicious. Gokul provides kosher Indian food—something even Teaneck, NJ, does not offer, it should be noted—and a family-run in-home bakery supplies fresh challah, cakes, and pizza. Costco and a local deli cover the kosher meat. And if you like ice cream, you’re in luck—there are three kosher ice cream stores, including the famous Ted Drewes.
“The concept of Gadlus HaAdam, the greatness of every man, is stressed by Rabbi Winter of Chesterfield,” said Treisman. “Every family in Chesterfield has an opportunity to make a real difference in whatever capacity they choose or are able to. That’s a powerful thing. Chesterfield is a small community, but it’s a strong community.”
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.