I recently viewed a 13-minute YouTube real estate presentation by Hannah Fleshel, an agent of Keller Williams Realty. It lauds our dynamic cosmopolitan city in the sunny south that fully accommodates Orthodox Jewish life.
The Fleshel family moved to Atlanta in 2008 when Rabbi Yaakov Fleshel took a position in Jewish college outreach at Emory University, under the umbrella of the Atlanta Scholars Kollel and MEOR, a Jewish campus leadership program. At first the Fleshels lived in a townhouse near Emory; however, when they began to look for a house within the Toco Hills neighborhood, the process was not easy.
Hannah Fleshel said, “My dad was a commercial real estate agent in San Diego, where I am from. I planned to join him, but it never worked out before he passed away. Real estate was always in the back of my mind, and when I could pursue my ambition, I decided to make that career change.”
Fleshel studied for her realtor’s license and independently sold their townhouse near Emory. Real estate investor Adee Weismark saw Fleshel’s “for sale by owner” townhouse ad on the former website Frum Atlanta and helped her family find a new home. Weismark suggested that Fleshel pursue residential real estate, and in 2016 he led Fleshel to the team leader at Keller Williams Peachtree Road, where, in Fleshel’s words, “I am now part of a great team.”
She added, “I love being a matchmaker who connects buyers and sellers for a win-win result. I remember my own difficulty finding our family’s forever home, and I use my experience to help others with desires and requirements similar to those of my own Orthodox family.”
Before the Fleshels settled in Atlanta, they had lived in Jerusalem, Santa Barbara and Pittsburgh. A major factor in choosing Atlanta was its thriving and growing Orthodox community. Fleshel knows what other relocating Orthodox families want and need, including early childhood through high school educational choices; many synagogues; kosher groceries and restaurants; parks; Torah-study opportunities for men, women and children; Shabbat and holiday activities; and a mikvah and eruv (which allows families to carry and push strollers on Shabbat). Today, half of her business consists of referrals from the Toco Hills community.
Fleshel expounded on making the video. “I heard about the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Communities Home and Job Relocation Fair, where thousands of Orthodox people who are making relocation decisions meet representatives from more than 50 cities. I attended the last fair as a realtor/Atlanta advocate, but because of COVID-19, last year’s fair was canceled. Past presenters were invited to prepare a short Zoom presentation. In order to create a compelling picture of Atlanta, I enlisted the advertising and film-production expertise of Elan Hertzberg who owns FilmTribe Productions. We completed the OU video, then Elan encouraged me to work on a more professional and comprehensive promo,” Fleshel said.
“I receive at least one phone call every week from someone who is thinking about moving here because of Atlanta’s amazing Orthodox Jewish infrastructure. My video had nearly 2,500 views between all of my platforms in 2020. New Yorkers are leaving their state in droves, and we are happy to show them our Southern hospitality. One of my dearest friends here started as a client moving from the New York area, and we met at the OU relocation fair. I am blessed to help make a huge move and change that much easier.”
In the video, Fleshel tours the three largest Orthodox communities in Atlanta. The viewer explores the most extensive one in Toco Hills and sizeable communities around Congregation Ariel in Dunwoody and Congregation Beth Tefillah in Sandy Springs. Fleshel and the camera also visit the Atlanta BeltLine, parks, museums and other family-friendly attractions. One segment shows a range of homes, townhouses and apartments, and the tour concludes with vignettes of people cheerfully calling out “I love Atlanta!” to the viewer.
To view the video, visit Fleshel’s website, www.hannahsells.com.
- Chana Shapiro
- Hannah Fleshel
- real estate
- Keller Williams Realty
- Rabbi Yaakov Fleshel
- Emory University
- Atlanta Scholars Kollel
- Adee Weismark
- Peachtree Road
- Santa Barbara
- toco hills
- Congregation Ariel
- Congregation Beth Tefillah
- Atlanta BeltLine