Comprehensive List of Jewish Communities in Northeast, USA (NY, NJ, PA, MD)

14 min read
14 min read

New York

1. Monsey and Spring Valley

Description: Known for their vibrant Jewish life, these areas host diverse populations, including Ashkenazi, Sephardic, and Hasidic groups. Numerous kosher food options, specialty stores, and robust Jewish infrastructure.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $400,000 to $800,000. Rentals range from $1,500 to $3,000 per month.

Highlights: Strong educational institutions, multiple synagogues, community centers, and yeshivot.

Welcoming to Converts: Generally welcoming, with various outreach programs.

2. Kiryas Joel

Description: Located in Orange County, Kiryas Joel is a Hasidic community with a strong emphasis on communal living and support.

Cost of Living: Home prices around $300,000. Rentals from $1,000 to $2,000 per month.

Highlights: Extensive communal resources, strong support systems, numerous educational institutions, and vibrant community life.

Welcoming to Converts: Primarily Hasidic, which may be more challenging for converts, but community support is robust.

3. New Square

Description: Also known as Skver, New Square is another Hasidic enclave with a strong sense of community.

Cost of Living: Home prices around $300,000. Rentals from $1,000 to $2,000 per month.

Highlights: Close-knit community, strong support systems, multiple synagogues, and educational facilities.

Welcoming to Converts: Similar to Kiryas Joel, with a primary focus on Hasidic tradition.

4. Far Rockaway

Description: Far Rockaway in Queens has a growing Jewish community with a mix of Ashkenazi and Sephardic residents.

Cost of Living: Home prices from $300,000 to $600,000. Rentals from $1,500 to $3,000 per month.

Highlights: Proximity to the beach, numerous kosher stores, synagogues, and Jewish schools.

Welcoming to Converts: Welcoming, with active community outreach programs and support for new members.

5. Crown Heights

Description: Crown Heights offers a dynamic Jewish community with a significant Lubavitch presence.

Cost of Living: Home prices from $500,000 to $1,000,000. Rentals from $2,000 to $4,000 per month.

Highlights: Cultural vibrancy, numerous yeshivot, community centers, and Chabad headquarters.

Welcoming to Converts: Highly welcoming, especially within the Chabad-Lubavitch community, known for its outreach and inclusivity.

6. Williamsburg

Description: A Brooklyn neighborhood with a strong Satmar Hasidic community.

Cost of Living: Home prices from $600,000 to $1,200,000. Rentals from $2,500 to $4,500 per month.

Highlights: Close-knit community, rich cultural heritage, numerous synagogues, and educational institutions.

Welcoming to Converts: Primarily Hasidic, with some challenges for converts, but outreach programs exist.

7. Borough Park

Description: One of the largest Jewish communities in New York, known for its extensive network of synagogues, yeshivot, and kosher stores.

Cost of Living: Home prices from $500,000 to $1,200,000. Rentals from $2,000 to $4,000 per month.

Highlights: Vibrant Jewish life, extensive community support, numerous kosher establishments, and cultural institutions.

Welcoming to Converts: Welcoming, with various community programs and support networks for converts.

8. Five Towns (Lawrence, Cedarhurst, Woodmere, Hewlett, Inwood)

Description: Located on Long Island, the Five Towns area has a significant Orthodox Jewish population with a mix of Ashkenazi and Sephardic communities.

Cost of Living: Home prices from $500,000 to $1,200,000. Rentals from $2,000 to $4,000 per month.

Highlights: Strong educational institutions, numerous synagogues, kosher restaurants, and community centers.

Welcoming to Converts: Welcoming, with various programs for newcomers and converts.

9. Great Neck

Description: Located on Long Island, Great Neck is home to a large Persian Jewish community, along with Ashkenazi and Sephardic residents.

Cost of Living: Home prices from $600,000 to $1,500,000. Rentals from $2,500 to $5,000 per month.

Highlights: Beautiful neighborhoods, excellent schools, numerous synagogues, and kosher establishments.

Welcoming to Converts: Generally welcoming, with active community programs and support for new members.

10. Riverdale

Description: Located in the Bronx, Riverdale is known for its diverse Jewish community and beautiful suburban feel.

Cost of Living: Home prices from $500,000 to $1,200,000. Rentals from $2,000 to $4,000 per month.

Highlights: Strong educational institutions, numerous synagogues, and community resources.

Welcoming to Converts: Welcoming, with active outreach programs and community support for converts.

11. Forest Hills

Description: A neighborhood in Queens with a significant Jewish population, including Ashkenazi and Bukharian Jews.

Cost of Living: Home prices from $400,000 to $800,000. Rentals from $1,500 to $3,500 per month.

Highlights: Diverse community, numerous synagogues, kosher stores, and Jewish schools.

Welcoming to Converts: Welcoming, with various community programs and support for new members.

12. Staten Island (Willowbrook)

Description: A growing Jewish community with a mix of Ashkenazi and Sephardic residents.

Cost of Living: Home prices from $400,000 to $800,000. Rentals from $1,500 to $3,000 per month.

Highlights: Suburban feel, numerous synagogues, and Jewish educational institutions.

Welcoming to Converts: Welcoming, with active community support and programs for converts.


New Jersey

1. Lakewood

Description: A major center of Orthodox Jewish life, known for its yeshivot and large Jewish population.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $300,000 to $600,000. Rentals range from $1,500 to $3,000 per month.

Highlights: Extensive Jewish educational institutions, kosher restaurants, and community resources. The community is diverse, with strong Ashkenazi and Sephardic presence.

Welcoming to Converts: Highly welcoming, with strong outreach programs and support for new members.

2. Teaneck

Description: A diverse and vibrant Jewish community in Bergen County, known for its strong Orthodox presence.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $400,000 to $800,000. Rentals range from $1,800 to $3,500 per month.

Highlights: Numerous synagogues, Jewish day schools, and kosher establishments. Teaneck also offers a variety of community events and resources.

Welcoming to Converts: Welcoming, with active outreach and conversion support programs.

3. Passaic

Description: A growing Orthodox Jewish community with a strong sense of camaraderie and support.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $300,000 to $600,000. Rentals range from $1,500 to $3,000 per month.

Highlights: Strong yeshivot, numerous kosher stores , and community support. The area is known for its tight-knit community and accessibility to New York City.

Welcoming to Converts: Generally welcoming, with community programs for newcomers and converts.

4. Elizabeth/Hillside

Description: A historic Jewish community with a mix of Ashkenazi and Sephardic traditions.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $200,000 to $500,000. Rentals range from $1,200 to $2,500 per month.

Highlights: Close proximity to New York City, strong communal ties, multiple synagogues, and Jewish schools.

Welcoming to Converts: Welcoming, with active community involvement and support for converts.

5. Highland Park/Edison

Description: A well-established Jewish community with a mix of Ashkenazi and Sephardic residents. Highland Park and Edison are known for their strong educational institutions and vibrant Jewish life.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $300,000 to $600,000. Rentals range from $1,500 to $3,000 per month.

Highlights: Numerous synagogues, Jewish day schools, kosher stores, and community centers.

Welcoming to Converts: Generally welcoming, with various programs to assist new members and converts.

6. Fair Lawn

Description: A suburban community in Bergen County with a significant Jewish population. Fair Lawn offers a variety of religious and cultural activities.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $350,000 to $700,000. Rentals range from $1,800 to $3,500 per month.

Highlights: Multiple synagogues, Jewish schools, and kosher establishments. The area is family-friendly with good schools and community resources.

Welcoming to Converts: Welcoming, with active community programs and support for converts.

7. West Orange/Livingston

Description: These neighboring towns have growing Jewish communities with a mix of Ashkenazi and Sephardic traditions. They are known for their strong community involvement and educational institutions.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $400,000 to $800,000. Rentals range from $1,800 to $3,500 per month.

Highlights: Numerous synagogues, Jewish day schools, and kosher stores. The area also offers a variety of community events and resources.

Welcoming to Converts: Generally welcoming, with various programs to assist new members and converts.

8. Cherry Hill

Description: Located in South Jersey, Cherry Hill has a significant Jewish population and offers a suburban lifestyle with strong community support.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $250,000 to $500,000. Rentals range from $1,200 to $2,500 per month.

Highlights: Multiple synagogues, Jewish day schools, and kosher establishments. The community is active and supportive.

Welcoming to Converts: Welcoming, with active outreach programs and support for new members.

9. Englewood

Description: A well-established Jewish community in Bergen County, known for its affluence and strong Orthodox presence.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $600,000 to $1,500,000. Rentals range from $2,500 to $5,000 per month.

Highlights: Numerous synagogues, Jewish day schools, and kosher stores. Englewood also offers a variety of community events and resources.

Welcoming to Converts: Generally welcoming, with strong community support for newcomers and converts.

10. Springfield

Description: A growing Jewish community in Union County with a mix of Ashkenazi and Sephardic traditions.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $300,000 to $600,000. Rentals range from $1,500 to $3,000 per month.

Highlights: Multiple synagogues, Jewish schools, and kosher establishments. Springfield offers a suburban lifestyle with good community resources.

Welcoming to Converts: Welcoming, with active community programs and support for converts.


Pennsylvania

1. Lower Merion (Bala Cynwyd, Wynnewood)

Description: Known for its strong Jewish community, excellent schools, and abundant amenities. Bala Cynwyd and Wynnewood offer a comfortable suburban lifestyle with a mix of Ashkenazi and Sephardic residents.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $400,000 to $800,000. Rentals range from $1,500 to $3,000 per month.

Highlights: Numerous synagogues, Jewish day schools, kosher restaurants, and community centers. Proximity to Philadelphia provides additional cultural and recreational opportunities.

Welcoming to Converts: Welcoming, with active outreach programs and conversion support.

2. Northeast Philadelphia (Rhawnhurst, Oxford Circle)

Description: These neighborhoods have growing Jewish communities with a variety of kosher stores, schools, and synagogues. They offer a more urban environment compared to the suburbs.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $200,000 to $400,000. Rentals range from $1,000 to $2,000 per month.

Highlights: Accessible amenities, strong community support, and proximity to the center of Philadelphia.

Welcoming to Converts: Welcoming, with several programs to assist new members and converts.

3. Elkins Park

Description: Located in Montgomery County, Elkins Park has a significant Jewish population and offers a suburban feel with plenty of community support.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $250,000 to $500,000. Rentals range from $1,200 to $2,500 per month.

Highlights: Suburban lifestyle, strong communal support, multiple synagogues, and Jewish schools.

Welcoming to Converts: Welcoming, with supportive community programs and resources for converts.

4. Allentown

Description: Allentown is home to a growing Jewish community with a mix of Ashkenazi and Sephardic residents. It offers a smaller town feel with strong community ties.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $200,000 to $400,000. Rentals range from $1,000 to $2,000 per month.

Highlights: Multiple synagogues, Jewish day schools, and community events. The cost of living is lower compared to larger cities.

Welcoming to Converts: Generally welcoming, with various community support programs for newcomers.

5. Harrisburg

Description: The capital city of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, has a vibrant Jewish community with a mix of Ashkenazi and Sephardic traditions.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $150,000 to $300,000. Rentals range from $800 to $1,800 per month.

Highlights: Strong community ties, multiple synagogues, Jewish educational institutions, and cultural activities.

Welcoming to Converts: Welcoming, with active outreach and support for converts.

6. Pittsburgh (Squirrel Hill)

Description: Squirrel Hill is the heart of Pittsburgh’s Jewish community, known for its diverse and vibrant Jewish life.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $300,000 to $600,000. Rentals range from $1,200 to $2,500 per month.

Highlights: Numerous synagogues, Jewish day schools, kosher restaurants, and community centers. Squirrel Hill also offers cultural and recreational opportunities.

Welcoming to Converts: Highly welcoming, with strong outreach programs and support for new members and converts.

7. York

Description: York has a small but active Jewish community, offering a close-knit environment with strong community support.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $150,000 to $300,000. Rentals range from $800 to $1,800 per month.

Highlights: Synagogues, community events, and a supportive atmosphere. The cost of living is relatively low.

Welcoming to Converts: Welcoming, with supportive programs for newcomers and converts.

8. Reading

Description: Reading has a small Jewish community with a strong sense of togetherness and support.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $150,000 to $300,000. Rentals range from $800 to $1,800 per month.

Highlights: Synagogues, community activities, and a lower cost of living. Reading offers a suburban feel with good community resources.

Welcoming to Converts: Generally welcoming, with community programs to support new members and converts.

9. Scranton

Description: Scranton has a historic Jewish community with deep roots and a strong sense of tradition.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $150,000 to $300,000. Rentals range from $800 to $1,800 per month.

Highlights: Multiple synagogues, Jewish schools, and a strong community network. The cost of living is relatively low.

Welcoming to Converts: Welcoming, with active support programs for new members and converts.


Maryland

1. Baltimore (Pikesville, Park Heights)

Description: Baltimore is home to a large and vibrant Jewish community, with significant Ashkenazi and Sephardic populations. Pikesville and Park Heights are the main hubs of Jewish life in Baltimore.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $200,000 to $500,000. Rentals range from $1,200 to $2,500 per month.

Highlights: Numerous synagogues, yeshivot, kosher restaurants, and community centers. The area has a rich cultural heritage and strong community support.

Welcoming to Converts: Highly welcoming, with active outreach and conversion programs.

2. Silver Spring

Description: Known for its strong Jewish community and proximity to Washington, D.C., Silver Spring offers a diverse Jewish population, including Ashkenazi and Sephardic residents.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $400,000 to $800,000. Rentals range from $1,800 to $3,500 per month.

Highlights: Multiple synagogues, Jewish day schools, kosher stores, and community centers. Silver Spring offers a variety of community events and resources.

Welcoming to Converts: Welcoming, with active community programs and support for converts.

3. Rockville

Description: Rockville has a growing Jewish community with a suburban feel and strong communal ties. It’s known for its excellent schools and family-friendly environment.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $400,000 to $800,000. Rentals range from $1,800 to $3,500 per month.

Highlights: Numerous synagogues, Jewish day schools, kosher establishments, and community centers. Rockville also offers a variety of cultural and recreational opportunities.

Welcoming to Converts: Welcoming, with robust support systems for newcomers and converts.

4. Potomac

Description: An affluent suburb of Washington, D.C., Potomac has a significant Jewish population and offers a variety of community resources.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $700,000 to over $1,500,000. Rentals range from $2,500 to $5,000 per month.

Highlights: Multiple synagogues, Jewish day schools, kosher stores, and a strong sense of community. Potomac is known for its excellent schools and beautiful neighborhoods.

Welcoming to Converts: Generally welcoming, with strong community support for converts.

5. Gaithersburg

Description: Gaithersburg has a growing Jewish community with a mix of Ashkenazi and Sephardic traditions. It offers a suburban lifestyle with good community resources.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $300,000 to $600,000. Rentals range from $1,500 to $3,000 per month.

Highlights: Multiple synagogues, Jewish schools, kosher establishments, and community events.

Welcoming to Converts: Welcoming, with active outreach programs and support for new members.

6. Bethesda

Description: Bethesda is a well-established community with a significant Jewish population, known for its vibrant cultural scene and proximity to Washington, D.C.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $600,000 to over $1,500,000. Rentals range from $2,500 to $5,000 per month.

Highlights: Numerous synagogues, Jewish day schools, kosher restaurants, and community centers. Bethesda offers a variety of cultural and recreational activities.

Welcoming to Converts: Welcoming, with strong support systems for newcomers and converts.

7. Owings Mills

Description: Located near Baltimore, Owings Mills has a growing Jewish community with a mix of Ashkenazi and Sephardic residents.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $300,000 to $600,000. Rentals range from $1,500 to $3,000 per month.

Highlights: Multiple synagogues, Jewish schools, kosher establishments, and community events. The area offers a suburban lifestyle with good community resources.

Welcoming to Converts: Generally welcoming, with active community programs and support for converts.

8. Columbia

Description: Columbia has a diverse Jewish community with a variety of cultural and religious activities. It is known for its planned community structure and strong community ties.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $300,000 to $600,000. Rentals range from $1,500 to $3,000 per month.

Highlights: Multiple synagogues, Jewish schools, kosher stores, and community events. Columbia offers a suburban feel with good community resources.

Welcoming to Converts: Welcoming, with active outreach programs and support for new members.

9. Germantown

Description: Germantown has a growing Jewish community with a suburban feel and strong communal support.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $300,000 to $600,000. Rentals range from $1,500 to $3,000 per month.

Highlights: Multiple synagogues, Jewish schools, kosher establishments, and community events.

Welcoming to Converts: Welcoming, with robust support systems for newcomers and converts.

10. Annapolis

Description: Annapolis, the state capital, has a small but active Jewish community. It offers a unique blend of suburban and coastal living.

Cost of Living: Home prices range from $400,000 to $800,000. Rentals range from $1,800 to $3,500 per month.

Highlights: Synagogues, Jewish schools, kosher establishments, and community events. Annapolis is known for its historic charm and coastal amenities.

Welcoming to Converts: Generally welcoming, with community support for new members and converts.


Additional Considerations

Community Resources: Many Jewish communities offer support for new members, including affordable housing options, food assistance programs, and community activities. It’s beneficial to reach out to local synagogues or community centers to inquire about such resources.

Transportation and Accessibility: Ensure that the community you choose has good public transportation and accessibility to essential services.

I hope this comprehensive list helps you in your decision-making process. Each of these communities has its unique advantages, and I am confident you will find a place that feels like home.

Wishing you the best in your journey and may HaShem guide you to a place of peace and fulfillment.

Shalom,
Dovid E. Yirmeyahu