Skip to main content

Congregation Beth Jacob (Atlanta, Ga.) Records

Identifier: Mss 215

Scope and Contents

Researchers studying the Congregation Beth Jacob (Atlanta, Ga.) Records will gain insight into Jewish religious life in Atlanta, Georgia. The records are arranged in alphabetical order by subject and chronologically within each folder.


  • Majority of material found within 1958 - 1993

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 Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright.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 Beth Jacob is an Orthodox congregation located in Atlanta, Georgia. The Congregation was officially founded in 1943 with its first permanent location being a converted private residence on Boulevard. Its roots begin in 1931; a small group of observant members of Ahavath Achim felt uncomfortable with the modernizing ritual, believing it was not “religious enough.” Thus, they began to organize their own High Holiday services in homes and vacant stores before finding their own building in 1943. In 1956, the Congregation moved to 475 Boulevard Northeast, which had previously housed the Tabernacle Baptist Church. However, by 1962, the Congregation was moving once more, this time to a newly erected building made specifically to be their synagogue. The forty members of 1951 had grown to 190 families by 1962. While the former locations were converted buildings, this new location at 1855 LaVista Road, was the “fulfillment of a cherished dream,” according to their New Building Brochure, “a place of worship combining all the features necessary for the convenience of a modern and growing community.” Indeed, by the early 1970s the Congregation began fundraising to add a much-needed expansion to their new building—by 1976, membership had reached 500 families.

Rabbi Yosef Saffra, in 1951, became Congregation Beth Jacob’s first permanent rabbi. Under his leadership, Beth Jacob established a religious school and a program of adult education. Shortly thereafter, in 1952, Rabbi Emanuel Feldman joined the Congregation as its religious leader, and would remain in the position until his retirement in 1991. Throughout Rabbi Feldman’s tenure, he exerted a strong effort to maintain a strict Orthodox presence in the community, even raising the height of the mechitza (the partition dividing the men and women worshipping in the sanctuary) three times. His efforts proved fruitful as the Congregation grew and flourished under his guidance. His son, Rabbi Ilan Feldman, who began serving as assistant rabbi in 1980, stepped into his father’s position as senior rabbi in 1991.

Rabbis Rabbi Emanuel Feldman (1927-) Rabbi Ilan Feldman (1954-)

Presidents: Michael B. Feinerman (1938-) served 1983 A. Robert Maran (1924-) served 1980-1982 Louis Taratoot (1923-2017) served 1979-1980 Abe Esral (1931-2018) served 1977-1979 Neal Busch (1936-) served 1975-1977 Ben Rabinowitz (1928-2011) served 1973-1975 Ben Hirsch (1932-2018) served 1971-1973, also Architect of LaVista Road building; Epstein & Hirsch Architects Edwin Galler (1931-2006) served 1970-1971, also Co-Chairman of Building Expansion Campaign Petty Bregman (1926-2004) served 1969-1970, also Co-Chairman of Building Expansion Campaign Jack Hirsch (1931-2003) served 1967-1969 Larry Nager (1913-2001) served 1963-1967 Maurice Krieger (1914-1991) served 1962-1963 Morris Simberg (1920-1980) served 1960-1962 Sol Abrams (1905-1992) served 1959-1960 Ben Golden (1912-2007) served 1958-1959


1.2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Congregation Beth Jacob is an Orthodox congregation located in Atlanta, Georgia, that was founded in 1943 and is still in existence today. The records consists of annual reports, minutes, correspondence, financial records, membership information, bulletins, newsletters, and building plans for both the 1855 LaVista Road building and its expansion in the 1970s.


The records are arranged in alphabetical order by subject and chronologically within each folder.

Processing Information

Processed by Rachel Katz (October 2011). Revised to EAD format by Jeremy Katz (May 2013). Entered into ArchivesSpace, with further revisions, by Lindsay Resnick (July 2020).

Congregation Beth Jacob (Atlanta, Ga.) Records, Mss 215
Rachel Katz
October 2011
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