Did you hear about the "Alabama Needs More Jews" program? The other day, this story from theJewish Telegraphic Agency
was making the rounds on the Web:
“A Jewish group in Alabama is offering as much as $50,000 to Jewish families willing to relocate to its town. Blumberg Family Jewish Community Services is offering the incentive to help repopulate the Jewish community of Dothan, a largely Christian town of 58,000. Participating families that stay in Dothan for five years and become active in the local synagogue, Temple Emanu-El, do not have to repay the grant.”
We wondered if any local Jews would be enticed by that scratch, so we called one: Jason Nodler of Houston alternative drama company Catastrophic Theatre.
“Well, I am Jew-ish,” Nodler qualifies. “I’ve been to synagogue maybe twice since my bar mitzvah.”
But what about it? 50K to live in Dothan, Alabama for a mere five years.
“Wow,” he says. “That’s what, ten thousand a year to live in Alabama? I don’t think I could do it.”
But it is the Peanut Capitol of Alabama, we tell him. It says so right in the story.
“Well, I am a fan of both Jewish people and peanuts,” he says. “And besides, it’s pretty scary in Alabama. I’ve been there and I didn’t like what it felt like to wake up in that state. I would imagine that you would need that whole fifty thousand to spend on security.”
So take that, Dothan. No alternative theaters for you.
– John Nova Lomax