Friday, January 21, 2022

One thing is clear from my conversation with people living in Columbus, Ohio: Be prepared to be a Buckeye fanatic. It’s a requirement, even if you have to fake it.

Through my many interviews, I have discovered some of the things that might motivate someone to move outside of the New York area. I initially thought the primary motivation was affordability, and in many cases it might be. However, it’s also come to my attention that the reason people relocate is to find a different type of community, a slower more mindful type of experience that is hard to achieve in the fast-paced New York metro area. Many people say they want to volunteer and be active participants in the growth of the town where they live. In larger cities, this involvement in the community can be a difficult transition for new residents.

COVID appears to have increased the desire to seek community, as people’s attitudes are changing and the ability to work remotely has become more attainable. Chana Orbach, a recent arrival in Columbus, fits this description. She says she loves the sense of community where she can help make a “positive impact.” She is channeling her love for Columbus as the recruiter of the community through Columbus Pathways, an organization that promotes living there.

There are three Orthodox shuls as well as a Chabad shul in town, which provide a comfortable environment for the 500 Orthodox families, ranging from Modern Orthodox to Yeshivish. The Beth Jacob Congregation has been a focal point of the frum community for decades and continues to serve Columbus, accommodating a diverse community that leans into more modern living. Congregation Ahavas Sholom is a vibrant, welcoming and inclusive Orthodox Jewish congregation located in beautiful Bexley, Ohio, that offers daily shiurim, engaging programs, a preschool and events for all ages that serve the entire community. Torat Emet, also in the Bexley neighborhood, boasts more than 200 families and has flourished as a Modern Orthodox shul in a beautiful new state-of-the-art facility.


sales price

re taxes

1610 Peace Place

4 bdrm, 2.1 bath, 2,587 sq ft



707 Chelsea Avenue

4 bdrm, 2.1 bath, 2,038 sq ft




Columbus Torah Academy (CTA) serves the entire community as the only school in town with classes from kindergarten through high school and has approximately 200 children in attendance. The school could be defined as Modern Orthodox, but it’s welcoming to the broad community including unaffiliated and yeshiva students. The state of Ohio offers several voucher programs that keep the tuition cost lower in Columbus. Depending on location and income, vouchers for private school are available ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 per child. To learn more about Ohio’s voucher programs, please visit the EdChoice site: https://tinyurl.com/bdf23jy9.

The local market provides many food options including a bakery, fresh meat, fish and chicken. Catering by Connie offers takeout, which many people use for their Shabbat meals. Ohio State University’s Hillel has a café, which is open to the community and offers dairy and meat meals.

Columbus is described as a very entrepreneurial community with many of its new residents working in business, including real estate and startups. There are strong, established companies and institutions that offer employment opportunities. The community has several health systems including Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Columbus is well known for its retail companies including L brands and its subsidiary companies Victoria’s Secret, PINK, Bath & Body Works, La Senza and Henri Bendel, Big Lots and others.

For entertainment, there is the Center of Science and Industry (COSI), the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Kings Island Amusement Park, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and the Easton Town Shopping Center.

When I asked Rabbi Avi Goldstein from the Beth Jacob Congregation what is special about Columbus, he explained, “People can make a difference here, have an impact and shape the community for the better.”

Recent sales include (provided from Realtor.com):

To learn more about the city, please visit www.columbuspathways.org.

The community continues to grow with many new, young families moving from the East Coast. Orbach suggests that approximately 30 families have moved to Columbus in the last three to four years.

There is a local JCC that provides a camp program, free school senior programs and a full range of other activities. The JCC also provides kosher takeout food.

At a Glance:

State income tax: 4.797%

Number of orthodox shuls: 4

Number of elementary schools: 1

State tuition subsidy: as described above

(Information provided by Chana Orbach)

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