Monday, May 20, 2019

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Two years ago, I began my journey exiting the Upper West Side to move across the Hudson. A journey that so many young professionals take into the unknown.

What community would work best for me? Would I have the same connection to the wonderful friends I made in Manhattan?

Most young professionals who make this decision go through the same thought process, but as I began to research communities and cities that would be a good fit for my lifestyle and commute, Fort Lee became top of the list—not quite a suburb in the traditional sense, but it provided a compromise between the Manhattan lifestyle and living in an affordable city.

The next question was, is there a Jewish community here? This is where the real research and journey began. I found that Fort Lee had a Sephardic synagogue, so we took the chance.

The first Shabbat my husband, Shalom, and I attended services, everyone greeted us with warmth and kindness, like family. I have been in Fort Lee for almost two years and couldn’t have been happier with my decision to join Bet Yosef, the Sephardic Synagogue of Fort Lee as our congregation, but more like our home.

We have made dozens of friends, have attended semachot and have formed true friendships that I am grateful for. Rabbi Ilan Acoca and Rabbanit Dina Acoca provide guidance and are always there for the congregation.

In the world we live in today, as Jews, we must be proud Jews. Proud Jews that are part of a vibrant, kind and welcoming community. Bet Yosef has provided that home for me.

Jacqueline Yehudiel