Shalom, y’all: What life is like for the Jews of Little Rock, Arkansas

Rabbi Mark Biller at Synagogue Agudath Achim in Little Rock, Arkansas. (Supplied photo)

Canadian-born Rabbi Mark Biller has moved around a lot. But his latest adventure has taken him on his biggest leap so far: in the fall of 2021, he headed south to become the rabbi of Agudath Achim, one of a few synagogues in Arkansas, a state home to just 2,500 Jews. The community is so tight-knit that part of his job interview process was sitting down with rabbis from the local Chabad and Reform congregations for an hour to make sure they’d get along. (They did.)

In this episode of Yehupetzville, The CJN’s podcast about Jews in small communities, Biller describes what he’s found as striking similarities between Southerners and Canadians—politeness reigns supreme—and how local Jews interact with the overhwelming Christian majority.


Yehupetzville is hosted by Ralph Benmergui. Michael Fraiman is the producer and editor. Our music was arranged by Louis Simão and performed by Louis Simão and Jacob Gorzhaltsan. Our sponsor is PearTree Canada, which you can learn more about at This show is a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, watch this video.