Monday, October 14, 2013

Dying Alabama congregation saved with $50K relocation grants

NY Times   [see also CNN 2008]

DOTHAN, Ala. — Five years ago, a Jewish businessman, worried that his synagogue was dying, put up $1 million to finance a program to recruit fellow Jews to move to a corner of the Deep South best known for peanuts. 

Alabama might not be the promised land, but the plan worked. 

The redbrick synagogue now has religion classes full of children, and a temple bowling team is starting. Six new Jewish families with 18 people who used to live in Florida, New York and elsewhere now call Dothan their home. Their arrival helped double the size of worship services, and more families are applying for the assistance. 

The businessman, Larry Blumberg, smiles when he talks about what has grown in the few years since he had the idea to pay moving expenses for families relocating to the area.[...]

Mr. Blumberg, who owns a chain of hotels, came up with a plan: offer Jewish families $50,000 in relocation assistance in exchange for pulling up their roots, moving to Dothan, getting involved at Temple Emanu-El and staying for at least five years.  [...]

1 comment :

  1. Very nice. I'm sure the lady "rabbi" is a sweetheart too.


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