Boston is not only incredibly hospitable to college students from all walks of life, but home to a diverse, connected and welcoming Jewish community. The main Jewish neighborhoods—Brighton, Brookline, and Newton, as well as some surrounding neighborhoods like Allston—are all within relative walking distance, and the community’s expansive eruv means you can walk for miles and still be within bounds.
“Brighton has a fast-growing community of young families, and there are shuls of every kind, lots of kosher food, especially bakeries, and we are building a brand new building to house our shul and mikveh,” said Rabbi Jason Strauss, who leads Congregation Kadimah-Toras Moshe. Other shuls include the Young Israel, the area’s largest Modern Orthodox shul, several Sephardic and yeshivish minyanim, and Congregation Beth Pinchas, the Bostoner Shul.
Brighton is especially advantageous for couples and young families who are priced out of Brookline and Newtown, where real estate has soared and which offers many estate homes but fewer condos or apartment buildings.
Ari Geier, who grew up in Newton and moved with his wife to Brighton after their wedding, praises Boston’s Jewish community as intellectually rigorous.
“So many people who live here attended MIT or Harvard, and that fosters a certain kind of inquisitiveness and knowledge that often makes for a lively Shabbat table discussion,” said Ari.
Ari also highlights the fact that while Boston is a vibrant city, he and his wife only need to drive a short while to enjoy the great outdoors. “You drive 20, 30 minutes, and you go from the city to the woods,” said Ari. “During the recent snowstorm, we drove just 40 minutes to go cross-country skiing in New Hampshire. That’s a great asset about Boston that isn’t so easily attainable in other cities.”
The area’s kosher dining scene is not its strongest selling point—although, for delicious bagels and ice cream, you can’t do much better than Kupel’s or JP Licks, and Pure Cold Press, a newer store, offers fresh and healthy salads, juice and acai bowls. There is also a robust kosher catering scene—even non-kosher consumers often utilize them—and plenty of kosher food available in local supermarkets.
With quick transportation to downtown Boston via the T, a booming industries for tech and finance, and some of the best healthcare facilities in the world, Boston is convenient for many professionals.
Boston is also home to numerous storied colleges and graduate schools, and many Jewish students came to Boston intending to leave after they graduated but, instead, found they loved the community so much that they made their homes and started families here.
“Boston is one of the most walkable, job-search friendly, and storied cities in the U.S.,” said Rabbi Strauss. “If you’re seeking a great city outside the tri-state area with a warm and diverse Jewish community, you can do no better than here.”
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.