Its been wonderful to get so many messages over the past few weeks about the annoncement of engagements.Â At least six young members of the Perth Jewish community, all observant Orthodox, have been engaged (noticably, none to each other).
Its also noticable that none of the couples concerned will be settling into Perth to start their newly married life.Â As most of them will be in Israel, it is a further matter to celebrate.Â
However the situation does confirm two perceptions about Perth.Â Firstly, that if you are young and single then this is not a great location to be.Â Secondly, that although Perth has always in the past been an ideal environment to establish a young family, from the point of view of lifestyle and affordability, this is changing.Â The cost of living and housing in Perth is a disincentive.Â From a Jewish point of view, as good as the communal structure now is, it does not have the social strength to be attractive to young marrieds at this point in time.
There is much that can be done to improve life for young Jewish adults in Perth.Â However there is no infrastructure or communal resources directed towards this at this point in time.Â The school and Shules are fundraising for new facilities, but nobody is fundraising for the 18-30 year old demographic to provide community, social and religious resources to deliver them the option of building a family home amongst us.
We should keep hearing of more engagements.Â We should also find the occasional Jewish mother guilt trip that says, stay a little while longer.