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Why Columbus Ohio Can Be The Place For You To “Settle Down” In!

One thing is clear from my conversation with people living in Columbus, be prepared to be a Buckeye fanatic.

It’s okay to fake it but it is a requirement.

In my many interviews I have learned something very important about people‘s motives for moving outside of the New York area. I initially thought the primary motivation was affordability and in many cases it might be. However, often, it’s also a search for a different type of community, a slower I’ll suggest a more mindful type of experience that’s hard to achieve in the fast paced New York metro area . Many people want to volunteer and be part of the communal growth of the town where they live. In large cities that can be more difficult for newcomers. Covid has probably helped fuel that search more 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 loves the small town feel of the community where she feels “she can have a positive impact.”

There are three orthodox shuls in town plus a Chabad shul which provide a comfortable environment for the 500 orthodox families ranging from modern Orthodox to yeshivish. Beth Jacob in the Berwick section, has been a focal point of the frum community for decades and continues to serve Columbus, accommodating a diverse community with more of a modern leaning. Congregation Ahavas Sholom is a vibrant, welcoming and inclusive Orthodox Jewish congregation located in beautiful Bexley. With daily shiurim, engaging programs, a preschool and events for all ages the shul serves the entire community. Torat Emet is also in the Bexley neighborhood and boasts over 200 families. The shul has flourished as a Modern Orthodox shul in a beautiful new state of the art facility.

Columbus is fortunate to have a Kollel which currently employs eight families and seven alumni families. Additionally, the Kollel is looking to bring five more families in the next 3-6 months. The Kollel is centrally located with a mission to bring learning programs and opportunities to adults and children alike while creating an atmosphere of traditional Torah values.

The Kollel recently started a podcast, KOLOT, in an effort to discuss Torah values with a wide range of world renowned guests.

Columbus Torah academy CTA is the one school in town and it serves the entire community with classes starting with kindergarten and up through high school with approximately 200 children in attendance. The school could be defined as modern Orthodox but it’s welcoming to the broad community including unaffiliated as well as more yeshivish students.

The state of Ohio voucher program is very helpful in keeping the tuition cost lower in Columbus. Depending on location and income, vouchers for private school are available ranging from $5000 discounts per child up to as much as $15,000.

The local Kroger provides many food options for the locals including a bakery, fresh meat, fish, chicken. There is also pizza available at Kroger as well as prepared food. Catering by Connie offers take out which many people will use for their Shabbat meals. Ohio State University is a big part of local life and Hillel has a café which offers dairy and meat meals. The café is open to the broad community.

Columbus is described as a very entrepreneurial community with many of its new residents working in business including real estate and start ups. There are strong established companies and institutions that offer employment opportunities. There are several health systems including Ohio health Nationwide Children’s Hospital and OSU medical system. Mutual of Ohio is a large employer in the insurance industry.

Columbus is well known for its retail companies including L brands, Big Lots and others.

For entertainment there is the Cosi children’s science museum, the Columbus zoo, Kings Island amusement park, the Conservatory and the Easton shopping which is a shopping destination

What is special about Columbus?

Rabbi Avi Goldstein at Beth Jacob answers, “people can make a difference here and have an impact and shape the community for the better”.

He also highlighted the integration of the diversity of the community. Interestingly, the financial and affordability issues were mentioned last.

This is a community as indicated by the sample recent closings, where one can purchase a comfortable home for less than $400,000

Recent sales are as follows (provided from 1610 Peace Place- 4 bdrm. 2.1 bath, 2587 sq ft $380,000 (re taxes $4,014)

707 Chelsea Avenue- 4 bdrm. 2.1 bath, 2038 sq ft$425,000 (re taxes $6,245)

Columbus pathways has been designed to help people learn more about the city and can be reached at

The community continues to grow with many new young families from the East Coast moving in. Orbach suggests that approximately 30 families have moved to Columbus in the last 3 to 4 years.

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

At a Glance

State Income Tax - 4.797%

Number of orthodox shuls - 4

Number of elementary schools - 1

State tuition subsidy - yes

Written by: David J Siegel


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