April 18, 2024
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Don’t Miss the Orthodox Union’s Savitsky Home Relocation Fair, Sunday, March 3

Learn about more than 60 Orthodox Jewish communities virtually, from the comfort of your home.

(Courtesy of OU) Registration is now open for the ninth Orthodox Union (OU) Savitsky Home Relocation Fair, which will take place on Sunday, March 3. The program was established in 2008, by then-OU President Stephen Savitsky. He and his wife, Genie, continue to generously fund the program, which now bears their name.

Young families, retirees, empty-nesters, singles, newly married couples and all others considering relocation will have the opportunity to visit 54 booths representing more than 60 Orthodox Jewish communities in 23 states and provinces in North America. Like the previous fair in 2022, it will be a virtual platform enabling attendees to participate from the comfort of their homes. From Albany, New York, to Orlando, Florida, to Portland, Oregon, or to Highland Park, New Jersey, this year’s fair will be the largest yet.

Understanding the importance of aliyah, which is on the minds of many fair participants and encouraged by the Orthodox Union, the fair will highlight sponsors that deal with aliyah, such as Nefesh B’Nefesh, CapitIL Real Estate Agency and OU Israel.

Rebbetzin Judi Steinig, OU senior director of community projects and partnerships, who coordinates the fair, noted, “The event’s objectives are to enable growth of religious communities and to highlight affordable geographic alternatives that offer both the amenities of an Orthodox Jewish lifestyle and an enhanced quality of life, such as reduced living costs, larger residences and shorter work commutes.”

The fair is being hosted on an exciting virtual platform that will provide an educational as well as enjoyable experience, and attendees will be able to move through the fair as they would in a virtual reality setting.

“Participants will enter a beautiful virtual venue complete with Orthodox-looking avatars walking around,” Rebbetzin Steinig said. “The lobby will have a number of large signs, each linking to an expo hall with smaller street signs, to direct people to their desired destinations.”

The online format also offers more streamlined discretion for those who may have private issues to discuss, such as a child’s special needs or recent unemployment. There is no charge to attend the event.

“In addition to making the fair accessible to people worldwide, connecting with community representatives online will free attendees from arranging for childcare,” Rebbetzin Steinig said.

The fair spans nine hours, and participants may stay for as short or as long as they wish. Private appointments with community representatives may be made prior to, during and after the event. Highlights of the fair will include brief videos showcasing communities, e-brochures available for immediate downloads and discussion groups on topics of interest to participants.

The fair will also feature a virtual auditorium that will provide more resources on aliyah, financial planning and other important aspects of relocation.

When registering for the fair, individuals are encouraged to complete a brief survey detailing their demographics, reasons for possible relocation, field of employment, and the stream of Orthodoxy with which they most identify.

Currently, the OU is offering all registrants a $5 discount on the fair’s accompanying 2024 Orthodox Jewish Community Guide, available both in print copy and PDF formats, which sells for $15. The 64-page color booklet profiles all 2024 communities and sponsors, and is an invaluable resource for anyone considering relocation.

Given the importance of researching communities before making an actual move, the OU’s Community Relocation Fair is a one-stop shop for anyone considering a change.

“You need to consider which communities are hashkafically appropriate for your family,” said Rabbi Simon Taylor, national director of the OU’s department of community projects and partnerships. “You want to find a place where you will feel comfortable, in addition to considering factors such as the weather and the distance to loved ones. Besides the fun and excitement of the fair, the most important objective is that it is an effective tool. People are interested in moving for many different reasons, and communities are interested in growing, and we’re doing our best to help facilitate a shidduch.”

For more information about the communities and to register for the fair, please visit www.ou.org/fair

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