Thursday, September 3, 2009

Speaking of Innovative

I received the following via email this morning. There's been some talk on the blogosphere about financial incentives, whether for students or parents. This raises things to a new and different level.

Fleetwood Synogogue
Modern Orthodox--eruv--kosher shopping
25 minutes to Grand Central
Closer than Teaneck!
Up to $30,000 move-in bonus!
Discovery days: 9/6 & 10/25 @ 1PM
120 East Broad Street Mount Vernon, New York

Need a bigger place to live?
Want a Shul where everybody knows your name?
Fleetwood Synagogue, a modern Orthodox shul in Westchester County, NY, is offering a $30K bonus to families who buy a house.
Go to to learn more.


Anonymous said...

You know how people were suspicious when a girl came with a huge dowry offer? So, what's wrong with Mount Vernon that they're offering so much $$ to move there?

Could use a house said...

Per the fine print, you need to agree to live there for ten years. That's not onerous (30k is a lot of money), and you don't have to pay interest on it if you leave and pay it back.

Anyone know anything about the community, schools, neighborhood, commute, history, hashkafa, house prices, etc.? It sounds pretty enticing.

Anonymous said...

Zillow says the house prices in that neighborhood have PLUMMETED about 40% in the last year or so:,5years_chartDuration/

First of all, why? (Yes, I know there's a recession on.) Second of all, does that mean it's a good deal--or a dying community?

Anonymous said...

I think that it is an old Shul/area that declined over the years, I believe the city/area is a mixed/integrated neighborhood, so maybe it feels it needs to take steps to be competitive/come back. Sometimes momentum develops for certain areas too when people choose where to live, friends follow friends, family follows family, etc. People don't just decide on basis of dollars and cents, they think of where their friends/family are/are going...

Anonymous said...

"I believe the city/area is a mixed/integrated neighborhood"

What does that mean?

Lion of Zion said...

"What does that mean?"

it's a polite way of saying you will have black neighbors

Juggling Frogs said...

I saw the same e-mail this morning, and (being an out-of-towner) wondered just how far $30k goes in Weschester. Is this the deal it appears to be?

(Not that we're moving, just to satisfy my idle curiosity.)

ProfK said...

If you really want to know about the community, the stability of the neighborhood etc. then contact Rabbi Berger at (914) 664-7643, or I've never been in that area and can't possibly tell you if it's up and coming, revival, old and in need of shoring up. Whichever it is, it seems to be a good way to attract people to take a look at the community. Go to the resident expert--call the rabbi!

Juggling Frogs said...

...a few families can make all the difference to revive a dying community.

Orthonomics said...

Likely worth checking into. But always read the fine print because if you can't fulfill the term, the grant becomes a loan.

Anonymous said...

First, full disclosure: I have lived happily in Fleetwood for 15 years and am a member and officer of Fleetwood Synagogue.

I appreciate the civility of this discourse and the fair tone you all have.

I'd like to tell you more about the shul, the community, what we hope to accomplish through the housing incentive plan, and our thinking behind the program.

The shul is small - roughly 45 families including singles. There's a diversity in age, and there are roughly 30 - 35 kids among the members.

Mount Vernon is a diverse and integrated community. The part of Mount Vernon that Fleetwood Synagogue is in, coincidentally called Fleetwood, is upper middle class. There are not, to the best of my knowledge, problems in Fleetwood related to crime or homelessness. There is a small town feel and the neighborhood has trees, sidewalks and architecturally interesting homes. It is out of the hustle and bustle but close to it.

The shul used to have more members than it does, and the neighborhood used to have more shuls than it does now. Our shul has been adding roughly 2 - 3 new members (singles and families) annually, for the last 8 years. Over this same period, we've lost not quite the same number, but nearly the same. So, we've grown, but very slowly. Our membership is younger and much more active than it used to be, but we want to grow faster. What we want to accomplish through this program is roughly doubling our new member growth. We'd like to add 5 to 6 new members a year for the next few years, and then, if all goes well, a momentum will build.

We love the community, and we'd like to have more people look into it. We don't think it's the shul for everybody. But, if you're interested in easy access to mid-town (25 minutes), opportunities to participate in shul life, then please let us know that you want to spend a shabbos with us after the yom tovim.

The fine print people asked about in earlier comments is out there in black and white. The money is structured as an interest free loan, and it converts to a gift after 10 years of living in the community and maintaining your family membership. Nothing about attendance, participation, or subjectivity. Of course, we would naturally hope you'd be active in our shul community.

Please let us know how we can answer your questions or host you for a shabbos.