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Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Do you like where you live? Are you satisfied with your life?? Or are you ready to trade down to a slower and more peaceful life?

The Blumberg Family Jewish Community Services of Dothan has a proposition for you. Move to Dothan — which is in ALABAMA — for a period of no less than 5 years and there is up to $50,000 in grant money available to you.

No, this is no joke.

Apparently, Jewish life in many parts of the South has been on the decline. Local businessman, Larry Blumberg, decided to do something drastic; offer serious money to Jews who are willing to help reinvigorate his community.

Family Relocation Project Summary
Grants Up to $50,000
We are eager to move at least twenty Jewish families to Dothan Alabama during the time period January 2008 to December 2012 by offering financial assistance up to $50,000 per family.

Guiding Principles
We seek Jewish families who intend to move to, and remain in, Dothan for at least five years.
We will carefully evaluate candidate families so that we bring to Dothan those who have the best opportunity for success.
Grants are available, for those who qualify, up to $50,000 in the following general categories (and maximum amounts):
Relocation – moving and resettling ($7,500)
Housing – primary residence ($7,500)
Temple Emanu-El membership ($1,000)
Repaying outstanding educational loans ($15,000)
Small business seed money ($15,000)
Children’s private secular K-12 education ($7,500)
Other outstanding financial obligations ($7,500)

Qualification Standards
Pass background and credit checks
Submit written personal and Rabbinic references
Host an in-home visit at your current residence
Travel to Dothan to meet your new community

Interested in this once in a lifetime opportunity?
Click here to learn more about our Family Relocation Project
Click here to contact us.

A slightly unorthodox approach to the demographic problem, but sometimes a radical solution is needed. Given the current economic climate, it is not unreasonable to expect that people will be open to the possibility of moving to a place that has a lower cost-of-living. And Dothan, Alabama certainly qualifies with a composite cost of living index at 87.0 — which is 13% lower than the national index (and no, I did not do that math on my own.).

For those of us who missed the opportunity to be chalutzim, accepting the responsibility of building up the Jewish community in Dothan may be exciting. Though not as physical as draining swamps or constructing buildings, the emotional exertion of creating something out of (almost) nothing will be tremendous. Although I imagine that for those who are coming from larger and more active Jewish communities, Jewish life in Dothan will feel a bit solitary.

At least until the rest of the folks move into town.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Tuesday, 9 September 2008 9:06 pm

    i saw this one too. i wonder if this is the best approach…do we have the responsibility to “re-seed” communities like this? after all, we are not returning to the shtetlach of europe….

    still, it is an interesting idea.

  2. Wednesday, 10 September 2008 10:46 am

    My soon-to-be mother-in-law passed an article to me about this a few weeks ago. I think it’s an interesting concept. I wonder if it works if others will try it. Our shul could sure use some boosting…difference here? We have no $$.

  3. Thursday, 11 September 2008 11:17 pm

    Interesting approach.

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