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Keep Houston Press Free
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I Come From Alabama With A Shofar On My Knee

Did you hear about the "Alabama Needs More Jews" program? The other day, this story from the

Jewish 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.”

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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

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

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