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Dena

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PostSubject: Mickve Israel - est 1733   Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:37 pm

This past week I was able to visit Savannah, GA with my husband while he was on a business trip. Congregation Mickve Israel sits in the Downtown area on Monterrey Square. It was established in 1735 by Spanish and Portuguese Jews coming from Europe.













Unfortunately, we couldn't go inside because the kids were there for religious school. Google found a picture though.

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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: Mickve Israel - est 1733   Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:41 am

Very nice. Very church-like.

For those who don't know: the name of the synagogue means "Hope of Israel", which is a phrase seen in Jeremiah 17:13 in the Haftarah portion of parashat Bechukotai (Jeremiah 16:19 - 17:14). I know this haftarah well because it is from the parashah of the week that I converted, so I have chanted it in celebration of that anniversary. The first word is not the "mikveh" that is the pool for ritual immersion (as traditionally required for conversion).
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Mychal

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PostSubject: Re: Mickve Israel - est 1733   Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:39 pm

Thanks for sharing the pictures. I had heard that it was a pretty synagogue. I think it's actually the oldest congregation in the South, not just GA.
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: Mickve Israel - est 1733   Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:14 pm

Mychal wrote:
Thanks for sharing the pictures. I had heard that it was a pretty synagogue. I think it's actually the oldest congregation in the South, not just GA.

Yeah, it would be the oldest in the south. They says it's 3rd in the US (thought that has to be difficult to determine since several claim they are the 1st) so it would definitely be the oldest in the south.
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searchinmyroots

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PostSubject: Re: Mickve Israel - est 1733   Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:42 pm

I thought the oldest one in the USA is Touro in Rhode Isalnd?
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: Mickve Israel - est 1733   Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:46 pm

searchinmyroots wrote:
I thought the oldest one in the USA is Touro in Rhode Isalnd?

That is what I've heard too but I believe there is another that also claims to be the oldest? I'm not sure which one.
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: Mickve Israel - est 1733   Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:26 am

Hey, all, just do an Internet search for the answer:
Wikipedia List of the oldest synagogues in the US
Quote :
The designation of the oldest synagogue in the United States requires careful use of definitions, and must be divided into two parts, the oldest in the sense of oldest surviving building, and the oldest in the sense of oldest congregation. Even here, there is the distinction between old synagogue buildings that have been in continuous use as synagogues, and those that have been converted to other purposes, between buildings that have been in continuous use as synagogues and those, such as the Touro, that were shuttered for many decades, and between early established congregations that have been in continuous existence and early congregations that ceased to exist.
Listed as third "oldest congregation": "Congregation Mickve Israel of Savannah, Georgia was organized in 1733."
Listed as "oldest existing building": "The Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, is the oldest Jewish house of worship in North America that is still standing.(1759)"

I lived in Providence, RI for 5 years back in the 1990's (my daughter was born there), so I've seen the Touro Synagogue, although I have not attended services there. It is nominally Orthodox, but most of the current members are not Orthodox including the daughter of close family friends whose husband is not Jewish. They say that the Orthodox rabbi of the synagogue is very welcoming and inclusive.
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