Shalom and Roll Tide !
June 2, 2011
As your family seriously considers entering our organization’s relocation project, we undertsand and appreciate any concerns that you might have about being a Jewish student at our premier state university.
Know that Tuscaloosa is a great place for Jewish students to live and learn ! Enjoy the following article reprinted from the Birmingham Jewish Federation’s email listserve.
One of the ways that we at The Birmingham Jewish Federation are building for the future is by encouraging high school students, both in state and out of state, to consider attending college in Alabama.
The more young people who choose one of Alabama’s excellent schools, the more who will stay here, our reasoning goes, and they will help us build an even stronger Jewish community and state of Alabama in the years ahead.
BJF staff members Joyce Spielberger and Caren Seligman do most of this work in different and complementary ways. And their work pays off.
Joyce recently got an email from out of town parents whose child has decided to enroll at the University of Alabama. “We just wanted to take a moment to thank you for the introductions you made before our initial visit to Alabama. After a lengthy search our daughter decided to attend,” they wrote to Joyce.
Joyce, of course, wrote back immediately. “That is terrific!!!! YEA!” she answered. “I am copying Kathy Merrell, who is our fabulous Hillel director, as well as my good friends, student leaders Renee Sharon and Alex Grodner, who are Hillel co-presidents. They will make sure your daughter gets on their radar so they can give her and y’all a great BAMA welcome!”
“Your daughter will love it!” added Joyce, who has two sons attending the University of Alabama. “Let me know if I can do anything to help y’all with the next step! ROLL TIDE!”
We thank these parents for writing and wish their daughter well. Our efforts at the University of Alabama, in partnership with the school’s president Dr. Robert Witt, his administration and the Jewish students themselves, have strengthened Jewish life considerably on the Tuscaloosa campus.
The Birmingham Jewish Federation and Foundation have provided funding to Hillel (the Jewish student organization) and Joyce has provided staff support. Over the past few years, the estimated number of Jewish students at Alabama has more than doubled — from approximately 350 to 750 — and, as the above story indicates, the number continues to grow!