ok this may be a really stupid thread and go ahead and ignore it if you want...
I think it is interesting how Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn are willing to live in high crime areas and work to fix them up and make them livable communities for themselves. Crown Heights at one point (maybe not anymore) was just as dangerous as any part of North Philly.
Since Orthodox Jews can't drive on the Shabbat they are naturally inclined to live in walkable urban communities. I believe that there is no real Orthodox community in the city though there is one on the main line.
So my idea is to donate one of our many old empty churches or synagogues in North Philly (there are so many) to an Orthodox Jewish congregation. NYC is super expensive and they may want to expand to Philly. This is a growing city where they can support themselves easily and devote more time to religious studies than they may be able to in NYC.
We can see a great old church/synagogue be rehabilitated and used for religious services again. Also they would revitalize a neighborhood and bring much needed economic vitality to North Philly.
What site do I have in mind?
The beautiful old synagogue at Broad and York ( broad and york phila - Google Maps ). That neighborhood is perfect. Real estate is cheap, there are many big houses to support big Orthodox families, BSL is right there, Temple is directly south giving the area a bit more safety than an area deeper in North Philly and it is historically a Jewish neighborhood. There are so many vacant houses around there that Orthodox families can fill up the area between Susquehanna and Lehigh without displacing anyone. It would make for an interesting mix for a neighborhood.
What does everyone think? I realize that this is an outside the box idea that would probably never actually happen but it's is a nice fantasy.