So you’re thinking about moving to Seattle! With our booming economy, gorgeous city, championship sports teams and kind drivers, you should consider it seriously. What you might not (yet) know is that Seattle has a robust and deeply engaged Jewish community too. Like other major cities, Seattle has a wide range of synagogue and Jewish day school options, a diverse and active Jewish community, vibrant JCCs and much more. In addition to the benefits of a metropolitan city, Seattle also has an intimacy that is welcoming, and supportive. Families often entertain in their homes, people extend invitations often, and it’s a community where you can become integrated and feel ‘known’ quite quickly.
While Seattle doesn’t have any single Jewish neighborhood, there are a few neighborhoods that have strong concentrations of Jewish households. Below, you’ll find more information on these neighborhoods, resources for Orthodox and observant families, and stories from families like yours who moved to Seattle and love it here. Want to learn more or come visit? We’re happy to connect you to others and arrange home hospitality for your visit! Tell us a little more about yourself and why you’re considering Seattle <here>.
A BIT OF HISTORY
The first Jewish communities in Seattle were established in the mid to late 1800s by both Eastern European Ashkenazic and Turkish Sephardic Jews. It may surprise you to know that since World War I, Seattle has had the largest percentage of Sephardim compared to the total Jewish population of any U.S. city! This diversity creates a welcoming, familiar Seattle Jewish community.
As fast as Seattle has been growing lately, the area’s Jewish population has grown even faster.
A 2014 study pegs the number at 63,400 — a 70 percent increase since 2001, the last time a similar study was conducted. The area’s fast growth in technology, sciences and engineering—fields that draw a highly educated workforce—has led to a highly educated and rapidly growing Jewish community. The study found that 89 percent of Jews in the Seattle area are college graduates, and more than half have an advanced degree.
While Jews live all over Seattle and its suburbs, the following three neighborhoods each have a high concentration of Jewish households. If you’re looking for neighborhoods that are walkable on Shabbat, have Orthodox synagogues and/or minyanim, and form a community of like-minded Jews, you’ll want to make sure to explore these three areas:
Southeast area of Seattle, along Lake Washington and next to the gorgeous Seward Park which has miles of trails along the waterfront and in the woods. Just 20 minutes to downtown Seattle by car, and for those who choose, bikeable to downtown and south Lake Union too. Seward Park has many synagogues and minyanim, which are collaborative and together form a diverse yet cohesive community, including a vibrant Sephardic community:
- Congregation Ezra Bessaroth (EB) (Sephardic, Orthodox)
- Bikur Holim Machazikay Hadath (BCMH) (Ashkenazic, Orthodox)
- Sephardic Bikur Holim Congregation (SBH) (Sephardic, Orthodox)
- Minyan Ohr Chadash (OC) (Modern Orthodox)
- Ashreichem Yisroel
- Minyan at the Kline Galland Home
- Seattle Kollel
People who live in Seward Park shop at the QFC Grocery Store on Rainier Ave. S. and PCC (local natural food co-op) carries kosher products and even the bulk bins are under Va’ad supervision. Seattle Kosher (kosher food delivery service) also delivers to your doorstep in Seward Park. People in Seward Park frequent two kosher vegetarian restaurants that are close by, Pabla Indian in Renton and Teapot Vegetarian in Bellevue. Need a treat? Krispy Kreme is also in nearby SODO.
Families in Seward Park send their kids to a variety of Jewish schools, including Seattle Hebrew Academy, Seattle Jewish Community School, The Jewish Day School, Torah Day School, Northwest Yeshiva High School and Derech Emunah girls high school.
Wedgwood/Ravenna/View Ridge (“The North End”)
The North End is close to the University, easily accessible to 520 to get to Bellevue and Redmond, and is close to Lake Washington. While this area is vibrant with shops and restaurants, it also retains a quaint neighborhood feel, large trees, and great parks. The North End has a very diverse range of synagogues and minyanim including:
- Temple Beth Am (Reform)
- Congregation Beth Shalom (Conservative)
- Mercaz (Modern Orthodox)
- Congregation Shaarei Tefilah Lubavitch
- Hillel at the University of Washington
- Rohr Chabad Jewish Student Center at the University of Washington
- Congregation Eitz Or (Renewal)
People who live in the North End shop at QFC grocery story in University Village which carries a wide variety of kosher products, including meat, cheese, fish, prepared sushi/deli, wine, and has a kosher Einstein’s Bagels cafe attached to it. PCC (local natural food co-op) carries kosher products and bulk bins are under Va’ad supervision. Trader Joe’s in the University District carries many kosher products including kosher chicken and beef. Affordable Kosher (kosher food delivery service) also delivers to your doorstep in the North End.
Families in the North End send their kids to a variety of Jewish schools, including Seattle Hebrew Academy, Seattle Jewish Community School, The Jewish Day School, Torah Day School, Northwest Yeshiva High School and Derech Emunah girls high school.
A suburb community just across Lake Washington from downtown Seattle, and close to Bellevue and Redmond, Mercer Island has a small town feel while being surprising accessibility to Seattle and surrounding areas. Mercer Island is also home to the Stroum JCC, which includes a preschool, gym facilities, a pool, a large garden, camps and more. Mercer Island has a vibrant and diverse Jewish community with multiple synagogues and minyanim, including:
- Herzel-Ner Tamid (Conservative)
- The Island Synagogue (Shevet Achim) (Orthodox)
- Temple De Hirsch Sinai (Reform, Bellevue campus)
- Stroum JCC
Mercer Island also has a number of kosher food options. The QFC Grocery Store carries a wide variety of kosher products, including meat, cheese, prepared foods/deli, sushi, bakery, and fish. The New Seasons Market carries kosher meat, dairy, and wine. Island Crust Cafe is the local meeting place with a wide menu of soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees and pizzas. Go to the local Menchies frozen yogurt for a sweet treat! Affordable Kosher (kosher food delivery service) also delivers to your doorstep in Mercer Island.
Families in Seward Park send their kids to a variety of Jewish schools, including The Jewish Day School, Torah Day School, Northwest Yeshiva High School, Seattle Hebrew Academy, Seattle Jewish Community School, and Derech Emunah girls high school.
While the three areas listed above have the highest concentrations of Jewish households, many other neighborhoods attract Jews and have great resources.
Capitol Hill is a vibrant hub of Seattle culture, and one of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods. It is very centrally located, and includes the beautiful Discovery Park. Capitol Hill is home to Temple De Hirsch Sinai (Reform) and the Capitol Hill Minyan.
Bellevue is on the east side of Lake Washington, easily accessible to Seattle over either the I90 or 520 bridge, and sits between Mercer Island and Redmond. Bellevue has multiple neighborhoods within it, and includes several synagogues and minyanim including Temple De Hirsch Sinai (Reform, second location), Temple B’nai Torah (Reform), and Eastside Torah Center Chabad of Bellevue, and the Jewish Day School of Metropolitan Seattle is located in Bellevue.
Queen Anne is a big hill just north of downtown Seattle with views of Lake Union on the east side, and views of Puget Sound on the west side. It is very close to Amazon, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Google, Expedia and many other major employers. Magnolia, Ballard and Fremont neighbor Queen Anne, and all are very popular places to live. Queen Anne is home to The Kavana Cooperative and Chabad Queen Anne.