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Congregation Ahavath Achim (Atlanta, Ga.) Records

Identifier: Mss 021

Scope and Contents

The social historian interested in the roots of Conservative Judaism in Atlanta will find this collection of special interest. The collection is arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically within each folder.


  • Creation: 1887 - 1988

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Congregation Ahavath Achim was organized in 1886 as Congregation Ahawas Achim (Brotherly Love) and is Atlanta’s second oldest Jewish congregation. Organized by Jews of Eastern European descent, the congregation’s founding members felt uncomfortable in the established Hebrew Benevolent Congregation (The Temple) comprised primarily of Jews from Germany, who by the late 1800s had begun to liberalize their Orthodox doctrine. Originally located in a rented room at 106 Gilmer Street, the congregation would make a succession of moves, to 120 Gilmer Street, to a hall on Decatur Street in 1895, to its first building in 1901 on the corner of Gilmer Street and Piedmont Avenue, to its second building on Washington Street in 1921, and finally, to its present location on Peachtree Battle Avenue in 1958. Four different Rabbis, Rabbi Mayerovitz (1901 – 1905); Rabbi Joseph Meyer Levine (1905) – 1915); Rabbi Yood (1915 – 1919); and Rabbi A.P. Hirmes (1919 – 1928) provided spiritual leadership for Ahavath Achim until 1928, when Rabbi Harry H. Epstein was hired as Rabbi. He retained that position for the next 50 years. Rabbi Epstein became Rabbi Emeritus in 1986 and was succeeded by Rabbi Arnold Goodman. During the early years of Rabbi Epstein’s tenure, he slowly made innovations and modifications in congregational activities. By 1952, Ahavath Achim joined the Conservative Movement, with the most noticeable shift from Orthodoxy being the gradual change to mixed seating. Today, Ahavath Achim Congregation is the largest Conservative congregation in Atlanta.


12 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Ahavath Achim was founded in 1886 and is Atlanta’s second oldest congregation. Today, they are Atlanta’s largest Conservative congregation. The records consist of annual reports, minutes, correspondence, financial records and membership information.


The collection is arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically within each folder.

Related Materials

Mss 1, Rabbi Harry H. Epstein Papers

Mss 008, Samuel Krasner Papers

Mss 009, Louis J. Levitas Family Papers

Mss 014, Ahavath Achim Congregational Sisterhood (Atlanta, Ga.) Records

Mss 057, Congregation Or Ve Shalom Records

Mss 058, Congregation Beth El

Separated Materials

Photographs removed to visual arts collection.

Congregation Ahavath Achim (Atlanta, Ga.) Records, Mss 021
Sandra Berman (January 1990), Josh Waldrop (2019), Erin Wright (May 2019)
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum Repository

1440 Spring St. NW
Atlanta Georgia 30309 United States