Saturday, June 26, 2010

Jews in the South? Fine to visit, not to move

Everytime Shiksa Girlfriend and I mention where she's from to Jewish folk, someone invariably mentions Dothan. I am so freaking tired of Dothan. My parents even suggested, mostly tongue-in-cheek, that we consider moving to Dothan.
Since launching two years ago, Dothan’s relocation project has received 600,000 hits on its Web site. Some people write in that they’re not Jewish but for $50,000 will convert; Orthodox Jews usually cease contact upon learning of the reform synagogue’s female rabbi; one Jewish family said it was living out of a station wagon, can you help? But as a longtime Jewish resident of Dothan told me about the venture, “We don’t take ’em to raise, as we say in the South. Fifty thousand dollars doesn’t go very far.”
Here's the thing, though: SG has said that she would have to be paid way, way, more than that to even consider moving back to the South, much less to the middle of nowhere. And here's why:

The Jews of Dothan make it clear to prospective residents that the city has a predominantly Christian culture. If families decide to relocate, they will likely be the only Jews on their block, and their children will be the only Jews in their classes. Politically, too, the leanings of Dothan Jews mostly reflect those of the larger culture.

Stephanie Butler, who moved to Dothan through the relocation program, said, “Conservative family values are our values, even if people think of them generally as Christian values.”
Yeah, I think I'll stick with insane rents in a city where I'm part of the moderate-y center, rather than move to a place where I'm more Jewishly educated than most but considered the resident Communist.

But y'all have fun, now.

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