Top Twelve Reasons
12. Great sports in Alabama including AA Baseball (baseballparks.com named Regions Field its 2013 ballpark of the year,) college football/basketball/baseball/gymnastics, NASCAR, Robert Trent Jones golf courses, and Mercedes Marathon/triathlons.
11. The cultural scene. Birmingham is now an indie music destination, as well as a town that supports a symphony, numerous musical, ballet, and theater companies, and art galleries. The Magic City boasts museums for art, history, science, aviation, and more. Certainly, Birmingham is at the heart of our nation’s Civil Rights history. We also have the oldest continually-used baseball field in the U.S., Rickwood Field.
10. Shopping at venues both large (Saks, Macy’s) and intimate (specialty boutiques in neighborhood villages).
9. Abundant festivals ranging from the Magic City Art Connection to Brewfest, the eco-creative Moss Rock Festival to the Barber Motorsports Festival, Sidewalk Film Festival to the Greek Food Festival.
8. Amazing botanical gardens, zoo, and science center. Birmingham is a very family-friendly town.
7. World-class medical facilities, most notably the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB,) and the people they attract to work and study there.
6. Central-location. Birmingham is in North-Central Alabama, just over an hour’s drive away from the state capital, Montgomery, and the “Rocket City,” Huntsville. Nashville is three hours away by car, Atlanta two and a half, the Gulf Coast beaches five. The Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport is minutes from downtown and a major hub for Southwest Airlines.
5. Numerous James Beard award winning restaurants & chefs. In 2013, Birmingham’s restaurants were extoled in the New York Times, Forbes, and several travel websites. Yes, we are known for our BBQ and meat-and-threes, too.
4. The outdoors. The Birmingham metro area, located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, has trails, parks large and small/suburban and urban, and an extensive running and biking community. Hikers enjoy Oak Mountain State Park and Ruffner Mountain, while zip line enthusiasts enjoy the new Red Mountain Park. The Magic City is ranked #1 in the United States for green space per capita.
3. Affordable living with access to many of the highest-ranked public schools in the state and numerous Jewish institutions.
2. Southern hospitality. Birminghamians are friendly, warm people, and the Jewish community, in particular, is well-known for being very welcoming.
1. The Temple Beth-El Community!!! The Birmingham Jewish community has an almost-unheard-of affiliation rate of 80%, and the active and engaged TBE membership is proof of that. We have both multi-generational families here, as well as newcomers who become highly engaged with the schul.
As for Jewish life here, there are still more reasons:
Jewish life in Birmingham and at Temple Beth-El is truly unmatched. While many families live in nearby suburbs, others live within walking distance of our synagogue in beautiful neighborhoods of homes and apartments; one example of their Jewish neighborly activities is a Sukkah Stroll.
The entire Jewish community and many from the general community come each spring to TBE’s When Pigs Fly Kosher BBQ. Meanwhile, Birmingham’s Temple Emanu-El (Reform) is just one block away, and the two congregations regularly partner for special events such as concerts or the Purim spiel and carnival.
Just a short drive away from Temple Beth-El, you will find the Levite Jewish Community Center, the N. E. Miles Jewish Day School (K-8), the Birmingham Jewish Federation, and Collat Jewish Family Services, all on Montclair Road. Chabad of Alabama, and Knesseth Israel (Orthodox) are both located within easy driving distance of Temple Beth-El on Overton Road.
Birmingham boasts an extremely high rate of Jewish affiliation– a practically unheard-of 80% of our Jewish population is affiliated with one of our Jewish organizations. We have a tight-knit, active and welcoming Jewish community, one with resources such as three Jewish preschools, an active Hadassah chapter, the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center, a sister-city program with Rosh Ha’yin, Israel, and the inclusive and very busy Federation; the latter showcases innovative initiatives such as a daily “Update” via e-mail (with a diverse readership of thousands, worldwide) and successful programs such as “Shalom Birmingham” to welcome newcomers, and “You Belong in Birmingham” and “Babies & Bagels in Birmingham” which encourage singles and young families to put down roots in our community.
When you get to know our Jewish community, you will see why putting down roots here is a great idea. We hope you will join the 5000+ Jews who already have.