Established by the Savannah Jewish Federation in 1995, the Savannah Jewish Archives (SJA) preserves the heritage of the Savannah Jewish community. The Archives' mission includes the acquisition and preservation of materials that have permanent historical value to the Savannah and greater Chatham County Jewish community. The Savannah Jewish Archives is funded by the Savannah Jewish Federation and through the generous support of its members.
Subjects included in SJA's collections include, but are not limited to, religion, education, culture, history and genealogy from the 1750s to the present. SJA's collections include manuscripts, photographs, artifacts, books, pamphlets, audio-visual materials, oral histories and the Savannah Jewish News from 1945 through the present.
Documented within the collections are: Jewish businesses, individuals, families, congregations, publications, civic organizations and societies. The three local Jewish congregations, Mickve Israel, B'nai B'rith Jacob, and Agudath Achim, as well as the Jewish Educational Alliance and Savannah Jewish Federation are all represented in the collections.
The Savannah Jewish Archives are located at the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum in Atlanta, Georgia's largest Jewish museum. The Breman plans to integrate the Savannah Jewish Archives both into the museum's library, as well as putting parts of the collection online.
Herman Myers (1847-1909)
Savannah's 1st Jewish Mayor
Membership is an important part of maintaining the Savannah Jewish Archives and ensuring that the records of the Savannah Jewish community are preserved and available for future generations.
Contributions made directly to the Savannah Jewish Archives for honorariums, memorials, genealogy searches or general support help us maintain a vibrant organization. Donations should be made payable to SJA and sent to Savannah Jewish Archives; 5111 Abercorn St., Savannah, GA 31405. SJA is a federal and state tax exempt organization.
The public is encouraged to donate family papers, organizational records, genealogy information, and photographs to SJA for preservation and research.
Annual membership is available at four levels and goes directly to supporting the Savannah Jewish Archives:
To support the Savannah Jewish Archives, please click here.
Picturing Savannah's Jewish Community
By Kaye Kole and Valerie Frey Stone
Savannah Jewish Archives, 2008
Our first two books included images primarily from the late nineteenth century and the first part of the twentieth century. With this third volume, however, we are showcasing our efforts to preserve the present for the Savannah Jewish community of the future. You will find recent images and faces from some of the families who have more recently become a part of our rich community.
Voices of Savannah: Selections from the Oral History Collection of the Savannah Jewish Archives
Compiled by Valerie Frey, Kaye Kole and Luciana Spracher
Savannah Jewish Archives, 2004
As part of an ongoing effort to make the Savannah Jewish Archives' holdings accessible to the public, the SJA proudly presents Voices of Savannah: Selections from the Oral History Collection of the Savannah Jewish Archives. This work offers previously unseen photographs from the collections of the SJA while also drawing narrative text from more than a hundred oral history interviews collected from and by local Jewish residents.
The Jewish Community of Savannah
By Valerie Frey and Kaye Kole
Arcadia Publishing, 2002
The Jewish Community of Savannah celebrates the colorful history of one of the nation's oldest established Jewish communities. Vintage photographs culled from the Savannah Jewish Archives reveal what life was like in days gone by. Early twentieth-century scenes depict Savannah Jews not only in times of steadfast worship and engaged in earnest business efforts, but also in lighter moments of celebration and recreation.
Also available for purchase:
Mordecai Sheftall: Jewish Revolutionary Patriot
By B. H. Levy
Georgia Historical Society, 1999
The Minis Family of Georgia, 1733-1992
By Kaye Kole
Georgia Historical Society, 1992
The Savannah Jewish Archives is administered by the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum.
Savannah Jewish Archives
c/o William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum
1440 Spring St. NW
Atlanta, GA 30309
Fester Mayer and his wife