Jewish delight in cowboy country

STAN Coffield and his wife were pretty open-minded when deciding where they would retire.

“I wanted someplace that had a lower cost of living than New York — warm, dry, near a body of water that I could water-ski on, and had some manner of Jewish presence,” he said.

In 2010, the Coffields moved into their house in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, about 200 miles north-west of Phoenix, the state capital.

Even though the synagogue is small, he hasn’t looked back since.

“When my wife and I first moved out here, you would turn a street corner and really be tempted to just pull over to the side of the road and stare — it looks like a picture postcard,” he said. “Go three blocks and it’s another picture postcard.”

Stan and his wife are two of Lake Havasu’s nearly 60,000 residents and part of the roughly 30 members of the area’s only synagogue, Temple Beth Sholom.

“Given that we’re the only congregation and synagogue within all of Mohave County, we have the full gamut of members,” he said.

“We’ve got people in Havasu, God bless them, who manage to be Orthodox and keep kosher, all the way out to the fringes of Reform.”

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