Originally published by Choose 901 in April, 2016.
Memphis has always had one of the larger Jewish populations in the South, but that number has been steadily increasing. Just last year, the Memphis Jewish community saw an influx in size as twenty-five Jewish families relocated to Memphis from across the country.
With a low cost of living and a growing Jewish community, Memphis fit the bill for these families who traveled here from cities such as Rochester, Boston, New York and Seattle. One of these families is Chana Dina and Yoel Goldblatt from Teaneck, New Jersey, who moved to Memphis with their four children. The family has seen an outpour of southern hospitality, mixed with a welcoming Jewish community, since arriving in Memphis.
“The Memphis Jewish community has gone out of its way to ensure that we’re settled and comfortable,” Chana says. “We’re thrilled to have found a community this warm and welcoming!”
The Memphis Jewish community will be showcasing itself at their fourth “Taste of Jewish Memphis” weekend, from May 20 – 22. Visitors will experience the finest in Southern home hospitality and have multiple opportunities to interact with families and speak with employment and real estate experts. On Friday visitors will be able to tour the newly renovated Margolin Hebrew Academy/Feinstone Yeshiva of the South (Age 3 through 12th Grade), Bornblum Jewish Community School (Grades K–8), the Jewish Community Center, and visit the city’s historic sights.
Memphis has an extremely vibrant Jewish community with seven synagogues, an excellent Jewish education for pre-K through 12, a full youth program including NCSY and summer camp, eruv, mikvahs, well-stocked kosher food sections in local markets, butcher and bakery, and the popular JCC.
Rabbi Micah Greenstein, the Senior Rabbi at Temple Israel, is excited about “the growth of an organic community of young professionals, most of whom just moved here. I anticipate a vibrant future for Memphis Jewry with a wonderful new array of expressions and approaches.”
To encourage Jewish families to explore life in Memphis, the Jewish community is offering a generous incentive package, including a $250 subsidy towards a family’s flights to visit for a weekend. New Memphians will also receive three months of free membership at the JCC. Students enrolling at either of the two Jewish Day Schools will receive a significant tuition discount. Lastly, Jewish families who move to Memphis will receive $500 towards relocation expenses.