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Congregation Agudath Achim (Savannah, Ga.) Records

 Collection
Identifier: Mss 351

Scope and Contents

The Congregation Agudath Achim records date from circa 1920 to 2008. The collection consists of correspondence, minutes, programs, newsletters, clippings, financial records, membership records, bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah materials, confirmation class records, and scrapbooks. Included are records of the following organizations affiliated with the congregation: Agudath Achim Brotherhood, Chevra Kadisha, Minyan Regulars, Agudath Achim Sisterhood and the religious school (the Shalom School). The collection is organized into the following series:

I: General Administrative Records: This series contains awards, agreements, clippings, committee records, correspondence, event materials, financial records, membership records, meeting materials, and files on rabbis and services. See Series 3 for executive committee and Board of Directors records.

II: Anniversaries, 1922-2003: This series contains clippings, programs, photographic materials, and other records related to 50th, 60th, and 100th anniversary events. Also included are documents providing historical information about the congregation that were compiled for a 100th anniversary exhibit.

III: Board of Directors Records, 1971-2008: This series contains executive committee records, meeting agendas, and meeting minutes.

IV: Building and Property Records, 1922-1998: This series contains records pertaining to lots in Bonaventure Cemetery, easements, deeds, promissory notes, receipts, loan agreements, and property tax materials. Also included are records documenting the 1970s construction of the new synagogue on Lee Boulevard including booklets, clippings, drawings, plans, programs, and correspondence.

V: Organizations, 1946-2000: Consisting of five subseries; Brotherhood, Chevra Kadisha, Jewish Historical Committee, Minyan Regulars, and Sisterhood.

Brotherhood, 1957-1972: This subseries contains organizational guides, constitution, minutes, correspondence, and other documents from Agudath Achim’s men’s organization, affiliated with the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs.

Chevra Kadisha, 1930s-1997: Many of these records for the Hebrew burial organization are in Hebrew and Yiddish. Also included in this subseries are banquet programs, invitations, instructional pages, and a speech.

Jewish Historical Committee, 1972-1975: This subseries contains records on the committee formed in 1974 in preparation for the bicentennial celebration of the United States in 1976.

Minyan Regulars, 1991: This subseries contains records documenting men who attended services on a regular basis. It consists of an invitation, letter informing of “minyanaire” status, and list of honorees for 1991 along with an undated service program.

Sisterhood, 1946-1997: This subseries contains the records of Agudath Achim’s women's organization, affiliated with the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism. It consists of Board of Director’s records, correspondence, financial records, meeting and event materials, and scrapbooks.

VI: Youth, 1946-1992: Consisting of four subseries; Religious School, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Confirmation Classes, and Outside Education.

Religious School, 1986-1988: This subseries contains the school constitution, standards, and correspondence, as well as information concerning teachers and advisors.

Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, 1960-1992: This subseries includes the proposed and adopted Bar Mitzvah school standards, Bar Mitzvah manuals, service information, community Bar Mitzvah schedules, correspondence and press releases related to Bar and Bat Mitzvahs (note: Bat Mitzvah and Bas Mitzvah are both terms for the same ritual).

Confirmation classes, 1946-1956: This subseries consists primarily of rosters and clippings.

Outside education, 1970-1988: This subseries includes folders on the Hebrew Community School, Institute of Jewish Education, and the Savannah Hebrew Day School.

VII: Newsletters, 1949-2011

VIII: Scrapbooks, 1954-1972

Dates

  • 1920 - 2008

Creator

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

The State of Georgia granted incorporation as a religious society to “Congregation Agoodath Ahhim” in Savannah, Georgia on December 7, 1903. Organized initially as an Orthodox synagogue, it owned no building of its own but leased space in various halls and buildings. These early locations included Bryan Street between Barnard and Jefferson, West Congress Street and later the Hall of Eagles at Barnard and State streets. The Congregation purchased its first building, capable of holding 100 people, on Montgomery and York streets in 1919. The Congregation engaged its first cantor in 1927.

The first formal religious school for children was established in 1933. On September 22, 1940, the Congregation laid the cornerstone for a new synagogue at the corner of Drayton and East Waldburg streets. The new building was opened for the first time on June 22, 1941. Agoodath Ahhim became the first Conservative congregation in Georgia in 1945 when they joined the United Synagogue of America (now the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism). The name was not officially changed to “Congregation Agudath Achim” until 1950, when the original charter was renewed.

Congregation Agudath Achim is currently located at 9 Lee Boulevard. This property on Lee Boulevard and White Bluff Road on the southern side of Savannah was donated to the Congregation by J. Curtis Lewis in honor of Sam Steinberg. Formal groundbreaking ceremonies at the site were held on November 8, 1970. The Congregation moved to the new building on September 19, 1971. After a special mincha service held in the Drayton Street building, the Torah scrolls were removed from the Ark and taken in a procession to the new building, which was dedicated in 1972. The congregation remains committed to fostering the practice and principles of Conservative Judaism today.

Extent

9 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

This collection contains records created by and relating to Congregation Agudath Achim, a synagogue in Savannah, Georgia, that is affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.

Arrangement

The collection is organized in to six series: 1. General administrative records, 2: Anniversaries, 3: Board of Directors records, 4: Building and property records, 5: Organizations, and 6: Youth.

Custodial History

The Congregation Agudath Achim (Savannah, Ga.) Records are part of the Savannah Jewish Archives that were transferred from the Georgia Historical Society to the Breman Museum in 2015.

Separated Materials

Oversize materials removed to Oversized Collections and photographs removed to Visual Arts Collection.

Processing Information

This collection was processed and revised by K. Anderson, Valerie Frey, M. Belanger, Kaye Kole, Lynette Stoudt, and Lindsay Resnick. It was entered into ArchivesSpace by Jeremy Katz.
Title
Congregation Agudath Achim (Savannah, Ga.) Records, Mss 351
Status
Completed
Author
K. Anderson, V. Frey, M. Belanger, K. Kole, L. Stoudt, and L. Resnick
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum Repository

Contact:
1440 Spring St. NW
Atlanta Georgia 30309 United States
678-222-3700