Columbus, Ohio, Jewish community, within a 2-mile radius, comprising Bexley, Berwick and Eastmoor communities, has been steadily growing for the last 20 years, recently surpassing 25,000 Jewish residents. The community is expected to grow even quicker, as the infrastructure that makes a Jewish community is in place, and helped by the fact that it is located between Cleveland and Cincinnati and within driving distance of Detroit, MI.
There are a handful of synagogues in the Columbus area, as well as a community eruv, and a JCC (with a kosher cafe). Orthodox synagogues include Beth Jacob Synagogue, Congregation Ahavas Sholom, Congregation Torat Emet, Congregation Ahavas Sholom which features a keilim mikvah, the Lori Schottenstein Chabad Center features a mikvah, and Chabad of Downtown Columbus. There are additional conservative and reform synagogues throughout the Columbus area. The community also has a thriving Community Kollel, which features young men at study and regularly scheduled services and classes.
Kosher food is a big deal, especially when you're not in the "big cities", not to worry, there are a growing number of places to eat including Saba Middle Eastern Grill, Bagel Cafe @ Hillel, Block's Bagels (one location, limited items), Graeters Ice Cream, Handels Ice Cream, Krispy Kreme, Brownie Points, Go by JCatering at the JCC, and Matts Bakery which features a "Judaica section". The big news is a Capas Craft Burgers announced they plan to open shortly. There are also several kosher, and kosher upon-request caterers serving the community.
There are two Jewish schools serving the community. The good news is that Ohio approved vouchers for students. Columbus Torah Academy, which sits on 22 acres, has grades K through high school and boasts two gyms and 3 science labs. For preschool, there is Gan Ephraim, affiliated with Torah Academy. Columbus Jewish Day School which currently has classes in K-5th grades. Nearby in Geneva, Ohio, is Camp Aspire for Orthodox boys into sports.
Shopping malls are spread throughout the city where you'll find Walmart, Target, Krogers, Giant Eagle Supermarkets, and Trader Joe's (known for carrying kosher specialty products) just about everywhere.
You're not in the boonies. Columbus is a large city, and as such it has museums such as The Columbus Museum of Art, the Center of Science and Industry (COSI), the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, the Wanger-Hagans Auto Museum, and many other museums as well as the Wexner Center for the Arts. For entertainment, there's the Magic Mountain Fun Center, Legoland, Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park, Rides at Adventure Cove, as well as smaller entertainment venues. If you're looking for nature, there's the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanic Gardens, the Columbus Park of Roses, Topiary Park, and Hayden Falls Park. Rail fans are going to be happy because there's The Ohio Railway Museum.
Columbus has excellent transportation having I70 running east to west through the city (1 hour to Cleveland), and I71 north and south (Cincinnati 1 hour 45 minutes). Supplementing that are Highways 270, and 670. Airports include John Glenn Columbus Regional Airport, Rickenbacker International Airport, as well as Ohio State University Airport, and Bolton Field which is at the edge of the city and primarily serves smaller private aircraft.
Special thanks to Aaryn Rubin, for helping with this article.
Thank you to Britni Weiss-Alsdorf, for correcting a mistake.