Finding a Home after Finding a House
when we decided to put down an offer on a house the first weekend in may, and then moved in the first weekend in june (woa – that was cray-cray) we spent a few nights talking into the wee hours about the pros and cons of pacifica living. to be clear there were (and are) way more pros.
affordability, beauty, beach, mountains, safe, space, schools, short-ish commute – all go on the pro-side.
really only one thing ended up on the con side – but oh, it’s a biggie – no jewish community.
we decided that the pluses heavily outweighed the minus (just one) and we are so thrilled with our decision. we truly love every aspect of pacifica living.
but now that our bags are unpacked, we have hung the last piece of artwork and our mezuzot are a fixed to the door-frames, we come back to where we started. where is our jewish community? how do we find our place when there seem to be no other jewish people close by?
we started by visiting a few synagogues in neighboring towns, including options in san francisco, and have narrowed it down to two options. one synagogue feels fancy, maybe too fancy. but it clearly has an active membership and is close enough (about 20 minutes) and has the most gorgeous pre-school i have ever seen. friday night we went to services at another option, slightly farther out (but oh, those extra 15 minutes really make a difference). the services felt like us (which doesn’t usually happen) and we know the rabbis (always a plus) and it felt – well, it felt like we fit. but in addition to the distance, there’s no real pre-school.
the pre-school factor is a big one. i went to pre-school at my temple and so growing up, our family friends were other jewish families with kids my age. i’ve always assumed our kiddos would go to pre-school at our temple too. i like the idea of our temple being our home base – pre-school for EBN, volunteer work for me and a home for all of us (and you know, an active mahjong game would be a bonus!).
it feels like a major adult decision to be contemplating joining a synagogue (you know, like buying a house and having a kid). when you were deciding where to settle, did you take your religious/spiritual community into consideration? how did it feel to enter into a new community? did you struggle to find your place?