I have heard stories about churches giving out money at the door for visiting families, but I think that this idea would be a foreign thought for churches aiming for longevity: Pay young families to move into your community and attend your church. Although this isn't happening with Christian churches, that’s exactly the approach the Blumberg Family Relocation Fund is taking in offering Jewish families as much as $50,000 to relocate to smaller, Christian-dominated towns in the Southeast.
In an effort to prevent the ongoing trend of small-town synagogues from closing down, the Blumberg program has advertised in Boston, Miami, Providence, Rhode Island, and Washington and will continue to expand its marketing pitch. If Jewish families become involved in a local temple and stay at least five years, they can keep the entire amount. “I think it’s important that we try to find young people that we could use in our religious school, our Sunday school and help in the way of trying to create more of a family-type atmosphere in our temple,” chairman Larry Blumberg said.
(ht: AP, 9/9/08)