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    Introducing G-dcast

    You've heard of a podcast, how about a G-dcast? Each week, G-dcast presents a cartoon depicting the story that Jews are reading in the Torah each week (aka the Parsha of the week) Check out a different 4 minute cartoon each week - some tell stories, some sing country songs...and then there's the hip hoppers, too. New G-dcast episodes drop on Mondays. Created by the designer of the Jews for Jeter and Yo Semite t-shirts, this is the most innovative Jewish site we've come by in a long time! Mazel Tov!

    Jews needed in Alabama!

    If you are willing to relocated to Alabama, here's some incentive: A Jewish group is offering $50,000 to Jewish families willing to move to Dothan, AL.

    A Jewish group in Alabama is offering as much as $50,000 to Jewish families willing to relocate to its town.

    Blumberg Family Jewish Community Services is offering the incentive to help repopulate the Jewish community of Dothan, a largely Christian town of 58,000. Participating families that stay in Dothan for five years and become active in the local synagogue, Temple Emanu-El, do not have to repay the grant.

    Southern states have a seen a growth in Jewish population, according to the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life. Some 386,000 Jews live in the region.

    Population trends, however, show young people leaving small towns and moving to large cities such as Atlanta.

    The Blumberg program, which was launched in June, has advertised in Jewish newspapers throughout the the Northeast and in Miami, and has plans to further publicize, The Associated Press reported.

    Jewish residents of New Orleans were offered similar incentives to return home after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Another congregation near Boston offers loans and other perks to Jewish families moving into the area.

    "I think it's important that we try to find young people that we could use in our religious school, our Sunday school," Larry Blumberg, chairman of the Blumberg Family Jewish Community Services, told the AP.

    Blumberg said he was interested in the new families to "help in the way of trying to create more of a family-type atmosphere in our temple."

    Shtetl Mentality

    All you need is a celebrity or politician to throw a Yiddish word around, and suddenly everyone is a buzz and kibbitzing. NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd recently quoted a top Democrat as saying "I'm telling you, man, it's something about our party, the shtetl mentality."

    Of course, most people have no idea what "Shtetl" even means. Thanks to Maureen Dowd "Shtetl," a Yiddish word meaning "a 19th-century Eastern European Jewish village" is currently the #4 most searched word on the internet! Could you plotz?

    Read Maureen Dowd's entire NY Times article here.

    Feel free to kvetch or kvell in the comments section.

    Introducing our Kvetching-Editor-at-Large

    We'd like to introduce you all to The Chosen Blog's new Kvetching Editor-at-Large Chavi Edwards!

    Chavi is a nice Jewish girl (by way of conversion!) from Missouri and Nebraska. Her impressive resume includes a Bachelor's of journalism as well as copy editing gigs at the Denver Post and Washington Post. Currently she's headed off to the University of Connecticut at Storrs to get her master's degree in Judaic studies. Her other blogging credits include her personal blog Mamaloshen as well as JewsByChoice.

    If you're a nice Jewish Boy, pay attention! Chavi is an active Twitterer, an ocassional poet who used to do slam poetry, she enjoys photography (check out kvetchingeditor on flickr), and spends as much time reading nonfiction Judaica and the occasional fiction book (she just finished Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon). She's a middle child and only girl, and her family still lives back in Nebraska. She like dogs, not a huge fan of cats, and considers herself a grammar nut who likes to relax by editing.

    Stay tuned! Chavi will be posting periodically here at the Chosen Blog about all things related to Judaism and pop culture. Be sure to read her entertaining first post below on Bar Mitzvah's Round the World!

    Thank you for being a friend....

    Today, the world mourns the loss of Estelle Getty, best known for her role as the lovable Sophia on the TV show The Golden Girls.

    Did you know that Estelle Getty, born Estelle Scher, started out her career in the Yiddish theater?

    Tune into the Lifetime channel this Friday, July 25th when they air ten of the best episodes of the Golden Girls featuring Sophia. Let's all enjoy one last cheese cake in her honor!