Is there an Orthodox community in Stamford? There certainly is! In fact, there has been an Orthodox community in Stamford since the late 1800s. Senator Joseph Lieberman was born in Stamford, and celebrated his bar mitzvah here. Hanoch Teller grew up here, and attended the Jewish day school in Stamford. Today about 350 Shomer Shabbat families live in the community.
How many Orthodox shuls are there in Stamford? Congregation Agudath Sholom is the oldest and largest Orthodox synagogue in Stamford. It boasts more than 500 member families. The synagogue is affiliated with the Orthodox Union, and has a full-time rabbi, assistant rabbi, and youth director. There are four minyanim every Shabbat morning—the regular service is at 9AM and there are two hashkama minyanim at 7AM and 8AM, plus a Sephardic minyan at 8:45AM. The Young Israel of Stamford has about 175 member families, and offers a full array of programs and activities as well. Finally, the Stamford Chabad Center holds Shabbat services at its facilities, along with a range of programming.
What about Jewish day schools? Are there any schools located in Stamford? The Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy, which is more than 60 years old, has about 400 students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade and has been recognized for its academic excellence on numerous occasions. It is a Torah u’Mesora school under Orthodox auspices. The school is famous for a unique program in which eighth graders spend a month in Israel before graduating.
How about Jewish summer camps? Mishkan Israel in Stamford and Camp Gan in neighboring Greenwich are popular Jewish day camps. Many of the older children in the Orthodox community also attend various sleepaway camps.
Is there a mikveh? Yes. A brand new state-of-the art mikveh has is located on the premises of Congregation Agudath Sholom.
What about an eruv? The Stamford eruv encompasses a fairly large area, and would include virtually everyone who would want to live within walking distance to the shuls. It is checked every week before Shabbat.
How about kosher food? There is a kosher bakery in Stamford. Six Thirteen is a meat kosher restaurant in Stamford. A vegetarian Indian restaurant in Stamford called Navaratna is under hashgacha as well. In the neighboring town of Greenwich is another meat restaurant, Greenwich & Delancey. There are a few other establishments (ice cream stores, etc.) that are under hashgacha from the Va'ad of Fairfield County. Stop & Shop has an in-store kosher bakery, and along with Grade A and Trader Joe's offer a large selection of kosher foods, including kosher meat and cheese. Many Orthodox families who keep kosher buy their meat from stores in Scarsdale, Riverdale, Monsey, Lawrence, or Kew Gardens Hills, all of which are a relatively short drive from Stamford.
How far is Stamford from Manhattan? The express train from Stamford to Grand Central takes 47 minutes. By car, you can get to Washington Heights in about 40 minutes from Stamford; other parts of Manhattan are all less than an hour from Stamford.
What about other parts of the New York metro area? It takes less than an hour to get to Monsey, Teaneck, Kew Gardens Hills, New Haven, Riverdale, or New Rochelle from Stamford. Flatbush is about an hour away from Stamford. So is Lawrence. In short, even though Stamford is in a different state and sounds far away, it takes a lot less time to get to parts of the New York Metro area from Stamford than most people think.
What’s the real estate market like? There are several different neighborhoods within walking distance of the shuls, each with a somewhat different group of homes that populate the area. There are also condos and rentals available within a short walk from the shuls, both in hi-rise apartment buildings and in detached units. The Orthodox community is fortunate to have several real estate brokers who are members of the shuls, and who are familiar with the particular needs of Orthodox families. Click on the tab Moving to Stamford in the left hand column of the page to obtain the names and contact information for the real estate brokers who serve the Orthodox community in Stamford.
Are there a lot of children in the Orthodox community? You’ll find kids of all ages in Stamford, and they tend to take part in the youth activities at the shuls and at the JCC. Some parents organize individual play groups for toddlers. Many of the kids gather in the park on Shabbat, along with their parents. Some of the teenagers participate in the teen minyan and in other activities for older kids. Both Orthodox shuls have active youth programming.
Why should I move to Stamford, as opposed to other more established Orthodox communities? Stamford is well known to be a community that is particularly warm and hospitable. It is a very pretty community physically. Those who move to Stamford can immediately get involved in various aspects of the Orthodox community, if they choose, or can take a more laid back approach. Many people feel that the community tends to be less judgmental about religious differences and hashkafa issues, and is very accepting of those who may not exactly fit the mold of the typical Orthodox family. You can easily find a place for yourself in Stamford, regardless of your background. The community has all the basic amenities that an Orthodox family is looking for, along with a great group of families who live here and who are committed to making sure that the Stamford community continues to grow and flourish. It has an out-of-town feel, yet is still very close to New York City ... so you can get the best of both worlds.