From the Desk of the Federation Executive Director: With gratitude 1/14/22

By Shelley Hubal

It has happened to all of us. You end a conversation and hours, or even days later, you keep thinking of all the things you wish you had said. This was the case for me recently. I was speaking with a woman in California on a work-related issue, when she asked why we refer to our Federation as “Greater Binghamton.” Without a second thought, I explained that we cover a large area, including several towns and counties. She responded sarcastically, “Oh, that’s what’s so great about Binghamton.” I knew she was disparaging our town, but since I was caught off guard, I simply ended the conversation. That is when I started to stew over what I wish I had said and to reflect on what is so great about Binghamton.

If I had been on my game, I would have mentioned that the median house price in Binghamton is around $140,000, making this a truly affordable place to live. I wish I had explained that we enjoy four beautiful seasons and that nature lovers relish in beautiful rolling hills and countryside, all within a five-to-10-minute drive. We have a plethora of town, county and state parks where you can play, swim, boat, hike and fish. Binghamton University is a world-class institution and its students create a vibrant atmosphere around town. Pre-pandemic, BU was a source of plenty of cultural activity. We have low crime rates, little traffic, accessible healthcare, plenty of clean water and no earthquakes with which to contend. If you are looking to get your fill of a big city, just hop in the car and you will be in New York or Philadelphia in three hours. I wish I had told her that we are a small, but caring, Jewish community where everyone knows one another and is willing to help you in your time of need. The list goes on.

Despite the challenges we have seen over the years, I contend that Binghamton is a “great” place to live. If you feel the same way, I would love to hear from you. Let me know what you love about living here. Send me an e-mail at or call me at 607-724-2332. In the meantime, stay safe everyone. Wishing you all good health and much happiness in 2022.