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Announcing CAMOS

January 2009
 
NEW EFFORT LAUNCHED TO ATTRACT MODERN ORTHODOX COUPLES TO STAMFORD

In an effort to strategically target more young and religiously observant couples to move to Stamford, CT, a new group—the Committee for the Advancement of Modern Orthodoxy in Stamford (CAMOS)—has been launched, with the goal of attracting 5-10 additional families to move to Stamford each year in the next five years.

“We think that Stamford suffers from a bit of an invisibility crisis in the Orthodox world,” said Michael Feldstein, chair of the committee. “When young observant couples living in New York City consider moving to the suburbs, they’ll probably think of Teaneck, New Rochelle, the Five Towns. They usually don’t think of Stamford, even though we are a relatively short commute into Manhattan and possess the basic features—an eruv, mikveh, day school, shuls, kosher food—that are required for a family to live an observant life. We want these couples to put Stamford into the mix when moving to a new community.”

CAMOS has targeted several neighborhoods for its effort—the Upper West Side, Washington Heights, Riverdale, Pelham Parkway (Einstein Medical School community), the Lower East Side, and the Upper East Side. Parlor meetings are being held at the homes of one of the residents in each area, where interested couples have been invited to hear more about Stamford from committee members and have been given a folder filled with information about the synagogues, schools, local attractions, and real estate options.

“There are rentals available in Stamford that are less expensive than similar apartments in the city,” said Feldstein. “Plus, there are plenty of condominiums and houses for sale. This is a particularly good time for young couples who don’t have to sell a home to purchase property, as prices for homes have dropped significantly in the last year. Also, property taxes are significantly cheaper than Westchester, New Jersey, and Long Island, which often makes the total payment cheaper in Stamford than for a similarly priced property in other areas.”

CAMOS also plans to host a Shabbaton in June, in which families will be able to spend an entire Shabbat in Stamford—meeting local residents as well as other prospective couples thinking of moving here…seeing the shuls…and checking out the schools and housing options on Sunday.

In addition, CAMOS members have conducted market research with two separate groups—those considering a move to a NY metro suburb as well as those who work in Stamford but who do not live here—to find out more about what they are looking for in a community. “The availability of kosher food and kosher restaurants, and the quality of the local day school, are two items that consistently seem to rise to the top,” remarked Feldstein.

“Many young couples have no idea that our local day school, Bi-Cultural Day School, was founded as part of the Torah u’Mesorah day school movement and boasts a 54-year track record of excellence in general and Judaic studies. They are surprised to hear that our graduates attend SAR, Ramaz, Westchester Hebrew High School, MTA, and other Orthodox schools,” said Rabbi David Israel, Director of Community Education and Advancement for Bi-Cultural and a CAMOS committee member.

Stamford boasts two Orthodox synagogues, Congregation Agudath Sholom and the Young Israel of Stamford, plus the local Chabad conducts Shabbos services. Chabad of Stamford also runs a very successful pre-school program and day camp, which many of the frum families utilize. Yeshivas Bais Binyomin, a branch of the Lakewood Yeshiva, is also located in Stamford—and recently the yeshiva has successfully reached out to the larger community (both adults and children) to provide learning opportunities for those interested.

Feldstein stressed that this effort is a process, and that the group will probably not see the fruits of its labor immediately. “Educating people about what we have to offer takes time,” said Feldstein, “and people generally don’t make decisions immediately about where they want to live. However, if we can get the ball rolling…get a few couples to move here…then word of mouth begins to kick in, and we can begin creating a buzz among young, observant couples that Stamford is a great place to live.”

If you are considering a move to a suburban New York metropolitan area, and would like more information abput Stamford, please contact Michael Feldstein at 203-973-6279 or email him at MichaelGFeldstein@gmail.com.