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The Schmooze

Move to Alabama, Get $50,000

There are some perks of being Jewish: knowing you’re part of the “Chosen People,” being part of a warm and vibrant community, and as Adam Sandler says, “Instead of one day of presents, we have eight crazy nights.” But now there’s the chance to get $50,000 just for being Jewish.

There’s just one tiny catch: You and your family have to move to Dothan, Alabama. The town, which calls itself the “Peanut Capital of the World,” has a population of 65,000 people and only 43 Jews. An article in today’s Atlantic reports that Larry Blumberg, a member of the city’s only synagogue, Temple Emanu-El, is sponsoring the effort to bring 20 Jewish families to the town in 5 years. So far, three couples have signed up and moved to the area.

Other Southern locales, such as New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, have offered Jewish families money to move, but no where close to the sum Dothan is offering up.

Concerned about living in the middle of the Bible Belt, in the rural south? Rob Goldsmith, the director of the resettlement program and the husband of the synagogue’s new rabbi says: “I tell [people] there’s running water, that we wear shoes, have a Starbucks. There have never been any swastikas on the temple door.”

We’ll see you down South.

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