Congregation Mickve Israel

The Congregation Mickve Israel Synagogue was founded by 42 Jewish settlers who arrived in Savannah, in the new colony of Georgia, on July 11, 1733. Having left London, England, five months earlier, the brave band of mostly Portuguese Jews and two German Jewish families sought freedom and opportunity in the New World.

In 1790 the congregation was granted a Charter from the state of Georgia, confirming the legal status of the third oldest Jewish congregation in the United States. Savannah Jews have been prominent in all aspects of the commercial, cultural and political life of the community.

In 1789 the Congregation received a letter from President George Washington which stated in part: "May the same wonder-working Deity who long since delivering the Hebrews from their Egyptian oppressors, planted them in the promised land-whose providential agency has lately been conspicuous in establishing these United States as an independent nation-still continue to water them with the dews of Heaven and to make the inhabitants of every denomination participate in the temporal and spiritual blessings of that people whose God is Jehovah". The present Synagogue was consecrated on April 11, 1878.

The Torah Scroll brought to Savannah in 1733, and other cherished possessions of the congregation, including letters from George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and several other presidents, are on display in the on site archives/museum of this striking Gothic structure. Mickve Israel remains today an active spiritual community, affiliated with the Reform movement in Judaism.

Intersection of Bull St., Wayne St., and Taylor St.

(912) 233 - 1547