Many move to North Fulton County for the schools and larger, more affordable homes, but a thriving Jewish community is also alive and well in the area.
Realtor Stacy Lampert, an area resident who works with Red Team Realty, a sales group of Keller Williams Realty Consultants of Roswell, says buyers are drawn to North Fulton because they can get bigger homes on larger lots for less than inside the perimeter. Home prices range from $250,00 to more than $1 million in old and new neighborhoods, most of which have pool and/or tennis facilities, Lampert said.
The median home sale price for the North Fulton area west of Georgia 400 is $452,500, with an increase in value of 4 percent in the past year, according to data provided by Keller Williams.
For families with children, the public schools have a great reputation and are known for very active parent participation, Lampert said. A number of private schools are also in the area. Jewish day schools The Davis Academy (which next school year will begin bus service from North Fulton), The Epstein School, The Weber School and Atlanta Jewish Academy are just south in Sandy Springs.
North Fulton also boasts new retail centers such as Avalon, large entertainment venues such as Ameris Bank Amphitheatre and community events such as farmers markets. Alive in Roswell, a free family-friendly festival is held in downtown Roswell every third Thursday beginning in April starting at 5 p.m.
“What you used to go downtown for, you can do here,” Lampert said.
Parks, greenways and trails, including along the Chattahoochee River, give residents and visitors beautiful natural areas to enjoy. The Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell and Autrey Mill Nature Preserve in Johns Creek offer recreational and educational programming for all ages.
Lampert has lived in North Fulton since 2003 and notes that while development has caused the area to get busier and busier, “it still has that community feel.” Stacy and husband Craig are members of Temple Kehillat Chaim in Roswell, where their twin sons Andrew and Jason celebrated their b’nai mitzvah ceremony on March 23.
Rabbi Hirshy Minkowicz has seen the area grow since he and his wife Rashi first came to start Chabad of North Fulton in summer of 1998, a time when many young Jewish families were moving northward to find affordable starter homes. The couple established worship and educational programming, operating out of trailers on Chabad’s Jones Bridge Road property.
While Jewish families are still attracted to North Fulton, Minkowicz says that many more traditionally observant families have moved back inside the perimeter to be closer to the Orthodox day schools. At the same time, Minkowicz observes more retirees moving to North Fulton to live near their children and grandchildren. It has also become home to a large Israeli population, thanks to the many technology companies based in the area.
“The vibe has changed,” but North Fulton “continues to be a dynamic place for Jewish families,” Minkowicz said.
Last month, Chabad of North Fulton celebrated a milestone when it finally replaced its trailers with a 23,000-square-foot campus, including worship space, the reopening of its preschool, a mikvah, and swimming pool. Called Rashi’s campus, it is named in memory of Minkowicz’s wife, who died in 2014.
In addition to Kehillat Chaim and Chabad, other well-established synagogues in the North Fulton area include Reform congregation Temple Beth Tikvah in Roswell, Conservative congregation Gesher L’Torah, in Alpharetta, and Congregation Dor Tamid, a Reform synagogue in Johns Creek.
Molly Peled, education director for Dor Tamid, was born in the U.S, but her family made aliyah to Israel when she was 10. She returned to the U.S. eight years ago for husband Sharon’s tech job. Their children are Maya, Omri and Itai, ages 6, 12 and 14. The family first located to Dunwoody where the two oldest attended The Epstein School. Then they moved to their current neighborhood in Alpharetta near Johns Creek to take advantage of the good public schools and join an estimated 15,000 Israelis who live in North Fulton.
Although Peled laments that many of her fellow Israelis aren’t accustomed to joining synagogues, she feels very connected to the Dor Tamid community, where she in turn shares her love of Israel.
“I teach our students at CDT to support and love Israel and understand that Israel is their second home. It is our duty to protect Israel in any way we can. Every Sunday we end the day with ‘Hatikvah,’ and tears come down my face every time,” she said.
For the youngest Jewish children in North Fulton, PJ Library Connectors is a program for infants to 7-year olds funded by the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. It is very active in the area thanks to organizers such as Abbey Adler. Since its start just 1 ½ years ago, Adler has led a number of well-attended holiday-themed events, including one called Jump into Shabbat at a local trampoline park, as well as a monthly sing-along with the senior residents at The Cohen Home in Alpharetta.
“It has been very rewarding to have an impact in the [North Fulton] community and watch the friendships, knowledge, and love of Judaism grow,” she said.
- Stacy Lampert
- Red Team Realty
- The Davis Academy
- The Epstein School
- The Weber School
- atlanta jewish academy
- Rabbi Hirshy Minkowicz
- Chabad of North Fulton
- temple beth tikvah
- PJ Library
- the Cohen Home
- North Fulton
- home and garden
- Temple Kehillat Chaim
- Congregation Gesher L'Torah
- Congregation Dor Tamid