Congregation Mickve Israel

Congregation Mickve Israel is the third oldest Jewish congregation in the United State of America. This congregation is located on 20 East Gordon Street, in Monterey Square and it is a rare example of a Gothic-style synagogue. The story of this congregation begins in 1733. The story shows us how much was hard to them to have the freedom to build this congregation. Forty-one Jews who was had sailed from London aboard the William and Sarah and had arrived in Savannah on July 11, 1733. Then on July 5, 1742, during The War of Jenkins’ Ear, most of the Jews abandoned Savannah, fearing that if captured they would be treated as apostates and burnt at the stake. They gave up the rented synagogue building and held services informally at the home of Benjamin Sheftall. By 1774, enough Jews had returned to Savannah to justify re-establishing the congregation on a formal basis. Governor of Georgia Edward Telfair authorized a charter for the “Parnas and Adjuntas of Mickve Israel at Savannah” on November 20, 1790, under which the congregation still operates. By 1793, the congregation had difficulty paying rent and gave up its leased space. While services were held in the homes of members, the congregation maintained its formal structure and elected officers. In these days, the congregation expresses the meaning of freedom in realigns to believe, follow and worship whomever you want.