cleveland skyline

You know how when you have big news, but you don’t know how to say it, so you just blurt it out?

My family is moving to Cleveland.

(Gulp. Breathe.)

Earlier this year, my husband and I realized that our family needed a change, so we spent much of the last several months researching and trying to decide where that change would take us. Armed with a checklist of qualities we wanted in a community, we honed in on Cleveland.

We visited several weeks ago and were very impressed. Cleveland is a vibrant, learned, welcoming and strongly tzioni community. Other than the weather (I am so not a fan of snow), we could not be more excited about moving there.

There are also a number of fantastic Jewish schools in Cleveland — and yes, our children will be attending one of them. (The decision to stop homeschooling wasn’t easy. But our oldest is entering middle school, and we felt that he needed instruction and influence, especially in terms of kodesh, that we couldn’t provide for him at home long-term. For the sake of family continuity, we decided to enroll all three of our kids in the same school next year. Life is fluid — nothing is etched in stone — but for now, this feels like the right choice for us.)

Despite our excitement, moving is always fraught with mixed emotions. Leaving Kansas City will be difficult for us; we love our friends and community, and my parents live here — so this is going to be tough. Much change is coming and I hope my family peacefully weathers those adjustments together.

The next month or two will be quite hectic for me, but I am going to do my best to keep a semi-regular schedule with blogging. I just ask for your forgiveness in advance for any lags — including in my ability to respond promptly to comments and emails.

Sooooo…. who lives in Cleveland? I’d love to hear from you!

Photo Credit: Wikipedia




  1. I am originally from Cleveland Heights and I think it is a most wonderful place to live. I wish I could move back. It is a very warm, slower-pace and very welcoming community.

  2. We’re also thinking about moving to Cleveland, just trying to find a weekend to visit. Did you stay by friends or get set up when you visited? One of my main concerns about moving to Cleveland is that I will not be near any of my family. I don’t live near my parents now, but I have two siblings in the area who are extremely helpful. How do you make it work when you don’t live near family?

    • Mara Strom says:

      It’s a good question, and I don’t know 🙁 We left Israel 6 years ago to be near my family, who lives here in Kansas City. It’s going to be very, very, very hard, that’s all I know. I hope they plan to come visit us often!!!

      • The Jewish community here in C-Town is an extended family. We have a Bikur Cholim like no other. We have a large number of shuls (*) that will welcome you. I have lived here since I married a Cleveland girl, and except for the snow and the cold winter, I would not want to live anywhere else.

        B’ruchim Haba-im.

        (*) Shameless plug: Heights Jewish Center Synagogue

  3. Hatzlacha raba! You’ll be so close, maybe we’ll come visit 😉
    Cleveland rocks! I tried not to be corny but every time I hear the name Cleveland I sing the song.
    Our experience with the Cleveland community was awesome. About ten years ago we were at Seaworld and it was closing time, my mom, sister, cousin and I were standing by the exit discussing where to get kosher food and another frum family passed by, they heard its talking and invited its over for a bbq (it was after 9pm)! We went and had some of the best bbq and conversation ever. We left at like 3am. Super nice, warm community. Please ignore my run on sentences.

  4. Welcome! You have lots of Cleveland followers.

  5. Congrats on the move. When will you be moving their permanently?

    • Mara Strom says:

      We’ve sold our house in Kansas City, but are still looking for the right home in Cleveland. Probably late July or August – but we don’t have a definitive date quite yet.

  6. I’m so happy to hear you’ll be closer to Detroit 🙂
    Good luck with the move and best wishes!

  7. Mara, I live in Cleveland Heights and love it. I would be glad to help you transition, email me anytime. BTW I enjoy your pieces in Binah 🙂

    • Mara Strom says:

      Thank you so much, Shifra – on both accounts! It’s been really rewarding working with that family for the articles.

  8. Yay! I am so happy for you. I lived in Cleveland for three years and I still have many friends (IRL and virtual) there. It’s a great city.

  9. Leah Weiss Caruso says:

    ME! ME! I live in Cleveland and love it!!! Email me!! YAY!!

  10. Welcome to Cleveland – We really are a great community with affordable housing.
    Hope your move goes smoothly.
    Looking forward to meeting you

  11. Welcome to Cleveland. Don’t forget to check out for the latest happenings in the Cleveland Orthodox Jewish Community.

  12. nechama says:

    Good Luck with the move and adjustment for you and your kids! And …thanks for the daily emails! You’ve saved me lots of $!

  13. Ooh me! Email me! Join us for shabbos! I heart Cleveland!

  14. Welcome! We live in Cleveland! We moved to university heights almost a year ago. Such a nice community! Please let me know what we can do to help u transition. BTW, House next door to me is for sale 😉

  15. Welcome! I have been following you for a while and we have even connected on your website. I work at FMS and can’t wait to meet you in person. One of my boys is joining middle school into the 6th grade this coming school year too. Good luck on your move.

    • Mara Strom says:

      How awesome that we’ll have boys in the same grade! Maybe they can meet before the school year starts. (I know all my kids are anxious to meet some new friends before school!)

      • Sounds great. I will private message you on facebook with my info and we can connect when you get here.

  16. Miriamm says:

    I live in Detroit but am originally from Cleveland. Really great community wonderful people, schools and organizations! Happy to have you in the neighboring city! Although I don’t live there now still stay connected as my family still lives there let me know how I may be able to help.

  17. Kelly Rubanenko says:
  18. Hi Mara
    I live in Cleveland for 10 years. Other than the weather, Cleveland Is an awesome place to live and bring up kids. everyone here is so friendly and looking out for each other you
    Will instantly feel it when you move here.
    We live in CH-come to us for shabbos!
    Hatzlacha with the move and looking to meeting you personally

  19. Hi Mara
    we made it to silver spring, difficult and lots left behind still struggling to find room for everything and many expenses including almost $1000.00 to title, register, plates license for my husband and I…Will be nickeling and diming for awhile … however wanted to wish you happiness in cleveland. We loved Cleveland. Lived there and loved it. Lived in apartment on ceder and green road. Really awesome community and if the job allowed us to stay there I would have. Everyone is nice and coexist together, warm environment. We have many friends and family there still. Let me know if I can help from afar.

    • Mara Strom says:

      Thank you so much for the encouragement, Rachel! I hope your adjustment goes smoothly, too!

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