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Congregation Beth Shalom Records

Identifier: Mss 295

Scope and Contents

This collection contains focuses on the early history of Congregation Beth Shalom. Many of the articles written are taken from the Southern Israelite (now Atlanta Jewish Times), for further research, please search this publication.


  • Creation: 1975 - 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 Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright.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

In 1975, a dozen couples met to discuss the possibility of organizing a new congregation in the Stone Mountain area. A meeting was called inviting Jews in the Stone Mountain area. About 100 people attended the meeting. Herb Kohn was charged with the responsibility of investigating the feasibility of creating a congregation in the east Atlanta area. Few people realized they had so many Jewish neighbors. Most had thought of themselves as isolated in the shadows of the home of the Ku Klux Klan.

Unlike the older congregations in Atlanta which had been started by people from similar old world backgrounds and with distinctive religious preferences, Beth Shalom was founded by young professionals, many of whom came from different communities outside Atlanta and who were groping for a Jewish identity.

Congregation Beth Shalom, a Conservative, egalitarian synagogue, is a spiritual and communal home to nearly 400 families. This vibrant congregation, founded in 1975, continues to grow and thrive through meaningful Jewish observance, learning, fellowship and service.

Rabbi Donald Peterman was hired in 1977, after graduating from the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1988, Rabbi Mark Zimmerman was hired after receiving his ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. As of 2020, Rabbi Zimmerman has spent 32 years as the pulpit rabbi of Congregation Beth Shalom.

In 1988, the Congregation Beth Shalom built a new synagogue on Winters Chapel Road in Dunwoody, Georgia. This synagogue straddles the border of DeKalb and Gwinnett Counties and attracts worshippers from all over the Metro Atlanta area, especially the northeast side of the metro area.

Beth Shalom has won the Synagogue of Excellence Award numerous times. This United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) award is given to only a few synagogues in the region each year for exceptional performance in multiple areas. Beth Shalom has been recognized for their services, adult and family education courses, religious school, preschool, family retreats, USY and Kadima youth groups. Our many programs enable our members to connect to their Judaism and to each other while they learn by doing.


1.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



c.1976-1988, including a history of the congregation, bulletins, 1976-1986; newspaper articles, c.1981-1985; programs and invitations, 1976-1988; photographs; and general records, c.1976-1988


Files are arranged in alphabetical order; newspaper/bulletins arranged in chronological order

Processing Information

Processed by Demece Harvey in March 2014. Entered into ArchivesSpace, with revisions, by Lindsay Resnick in July 2020.

Congregation Beth Shalom Records, Mss 295
Demece Harvey
March 2014
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