Rachel and Steven Schwartzberg
(Moved to Memphis in 2011)
Where did you grow up?
Rachel grew up in Canada and Steven in Florida and Cincinnati.
Where did you live as a couple before Memphis?
Washington Heights, Manhattan.
Why did you leave that community?
We were ready to leave the city...we were done with the high costs of living in the City and never having time or money to take advantage of all it had to offer. We also noticed every Shabbos meal discussion among our friends and neighbors revolved around when people would move away and where they would go.
What attracted you to Memphis?
Steven got a job offer at FedEx.
What clinched your decision to move here?
We saw that it was an affordable place to live and a community where our presence mattered. Rent on our 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom house in Memphis was $700/month LESS than our non-luxury apartment in New York.
What do you do professionally?
Steven is in marketing at FedEx; Rachel is a writer at the fundraising arm of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
What ages are your children and where do they go to school?
Our kids range from an infant to age 6. The older ones go to the Margolin Hebrew Academy, where they are thriving. We feel so fortunate our kids are getting a Torah education, taught by warm and caring teachers who are truly role models. There is a wide spectrum of observance among families at the school, but the Orthodox community is centered around the MHA.
Our kids have also gone to the toddler program at the JCC and we have been very happy there!
What do you like best about Memphis and/or what makes it different or better than other places that you have lived?
People were clamoring to meet us when we moved in and we didn't eat Shabbos lunch at home for the first 6 months we lived here! This is certainly not the experience most of our friends had when they moved to communities in Long Island or New Jersey. The winters are relatively mild and our commutes are less than a half-hour by car.
How do you manage being far away from family?
It’s tough. We Skype a lot and grandparents visit several times a year.
Where are your favorite places to go in Memphis with and without your kids? Haha, we don't go out without our kids these days :) With kids, the JCC's mini water park is wonderful in the summer. We're members of the Children's Museum of Memphis and the zoo, and there are several nice large and small parks within a 10-15 minute drive from our home.