We just moved back to Houston from our sojourn at Penn State (technically, I moved back; my husband has a summer internship here but has to return to Penn State for his final year in grad school), and while we do NOT love the intense heat and humidity (weather report last 3 weeks: average of 95 and sunny) we have fallen in love with good ol’ Texas hospitality, Jewish style.
1. There appears to be a resurgence in observance, so there are several kosher eateries, at least 5 bakeries, and a plethora of kosher products in several supermarkets.
2. There is a growing population of young people becoming observant, including couples, which means that we will have friends to invite over. We are looking forward to becoming significantly involved in young people/young family activities (thanks to our strong Hillel background).
3. There are several new Jewish institutions, including one outstanding new shul that fits us to a T. It is small, heimish, and friendly, and filled with BTs. The focus is on learning and growing, with no step too small. It is practically like a giant support group.
4. Everyone I have met so far is willing to help us out in any way, whether it is furniture for our new place, or a Shabbat meal, or recommendations. Truly a representation of Am Echad.
This community excites me. It is not the same hum-drum community I left when I went off to college with its sense of “establishment”. This community is excited to try new initiatives, new learning programs, new family activities – whatever it takes to get more Jews together. I am ready to get started. YEE-HAW!!