Knesseth Israel Plans Polar Bear Plunge

It may not be as famous as the Flora-Bama Polar Bear Dip on New Year’s Day, but Birmingham’s Knesseth Israel is hosting its first-ever Polar Plunge as a fundraiser for the congregation and its tornado relief efforts.

The Jan. 29 event will be held at Oak Mountain Lake at 8 a.m.

Knesseth Israel became a headquarters for Jewish disaster relief groups that came into the area following the devastating April 27 tornadoes. Currently, groups of about 20 volunteers per week are being hosted by KI as they volunteer with Habitat for Humanity in Pleasant Grove and Pratt City, and the groups will be in the area continuously through March.

Registration is $35 per person by Jan. 15, $40 afterward. Teams of five can sign up for $100 by Jan. 15. Participants are urged to go into the lake at least knee-deep. Men and women must be dressed appropriately, with bottoms extending to the knee and tops at least elbow length. Men and women will have separate plunge areas.

There will be a pancake breakfast as part of the registration, or $10 for those not plunging. Registration also includes admission to Oak Mountain, a Polar Plunge towel and entry into the raffle. Only food prepared by the committee is allowed into the event area, as it is a kosher event.

Sponsorships are available, starting at $75.