Traveling rabbi serves tiny Southern congregations

NATCHEZ, MS - NATCHEZ, MS (AP) - He's a traveling rabbi crossing the Deep South.

Based in Mississippi, Rabbi Marshal Klaven serves small Jewish congregations from Oklahoma to Virginia and from Kentucky down to the Florida panhandle.

At a recent Shabbat service in Natchez, Klaven greeted a group of 80 people who filled the 105-year-old temple.

Some of them were Catholics, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Baptists and others helping to fill the pews for the city's aging and declining Jewish population.

Klaven sometimes works in three or four small communities a weekend, performing weddings, leading sabbath services and visiting congregants who are ill.

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