A dwindling Alabama Jewish community is spending $1 million to stop itself from disappearing, as have many others in the South, CNN reports. A local group in the town of Dothan is offering a $50,000 shalom to Jewish families who choose to relocate to the community and hopes to attract at least 20. Ads in Jewish newspapers have met a huge response from all over the world.
"If you need a robust Orthodox community, we don't have it," said the town's rabbi. "But if you want a community where your neighbors are friendly—where people smile at you in the grocery store even if they don't know you—then Dothan's for you." The group has already whittled the hopefuls down to 25 likely families, and plan to have the first two settled by Hanukkah.
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