My End of Year Giving, Part III--Congregation B'nai Jacob, Charleston WV
Although PAZ is a completely secular organization, I am nevertheless enthusiastically donating to this synagogue.
I once had 50 relatives in this state; the last two are leaving shortly. It's tough to see a way forward in a state that is so mired in thinking that dates from the era when large numbers of men went into holes in the earth to drag out coal, endangering their health and lives, and suffering the abuse of immoral energy companies.
However, B'nai Jacob is a light in the darkness. Their rabbi, Victor Urecki, has held his congregation together in the face of odds that work against it. From his encyclopedic knowledge of comics to his intelligent approach on Jewish Law, Rabbi Urecki has kept alive a strong and vibrant community. Nor has his work been restricted to the Jewish community: he is friends--meaning real friends, not the Facebook type--with local Christian and Muslim leaders, and works hard to promote not just tolerance, but acceptance.
Small city synagogues are a continual challenge to keep going. Whether or not you are a member of the Tribe, please consider giving to B'nai Jacob. You're helping to preserve a community and promote peace.