Group offers $50,000 to Jewish families who move to Dothan

By Daniel Curtis - bio | email

DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) - 'Welcome to your new Jewish neighborhood.'

That's what members of Temple Emanu-El and the Blumberg Family Jewish Community Services of Dothan are hoping to say to a few new Jewish families.

"They wanted to step up and give back to the Dothan community," says Robert Goldsmith, Executive Director of the BFJCS.

The group wants to advance the Jewish religion and provide aid to members of the Jewish community in Dothan.

They also want to relocate up to 20 new Jewish families to the area by 2012.

"As time went by, kids go off to school at college and don't come back, that's true all through the south, not just Judaism," says Goldsmith.

To help with relocation, the group is offering Jewish families up to $50,000.

Candidates will have to pass background checks, present references, make family visits, promise to stay in Dothan at least five years and maintain a traditional Jewish home.

But it's not just about the money. Goldsmith says the goal is revitalize Dothan's Jewish community.

"This is important. We don't want the Jewish community to wither away like so many smaller towns in the south," said Goldsmith.

Families who receive grants will also have to be active members at Temple Emanu-El. They can use the money for moving expenses, home costs, or even starting a new business.