The Story of Mickve Israel

Forty-one brave pioneering Jews, the “largest group of Jews to land in North America in Colonial days” arrived in Savannah on July 11, 1733, just five months after General James Edward Oglethorpe established the colony of Georgia. Although the trip on the William and Sarah was rough, and they ran aground near North Carolina, the new colony continued to provide hope for those “industrious” poor Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews in London who had been living in difficult circumstances.  Read more…..

Our Sanctuary

Savannah participated in the great wave of German-Jewish immigration that began about 1840. By 1874 it became apparent that the small synagogue on Liberty Street and Perry Lane was no longer adequate for the growing congregation. On March 1, 1876, the cornerstone was laid for the present building,   Read more…..

Our Original Settlers

“These 42 persons were the first of our nation that came to this country.”

From The Sheftall Diaries, a magnificent first-hand account of the life of the infant Congregation Mickve Israel as written by a founder, Benjamin Sheftall, and continued by his son Benjamin and his son Levi.

1. Dr. Samuel Nunes Ribiero [in America, Nunez]

2. Zipporah, his mother [Editor’s note: Mother Nunez had died by 1703; this likely was his wife, Rebecca [Gracia Caetana da Veiga]


Our Rabbis Since 1853

The Rabbis of Congregation Mickve Israel Since 1853

Jacob Rosenfeld (1853 – 1862)

Raphael de Castro Lewin (1867 – 1869)


Historical Cemeteries

The below information is from “Our Legacy, 275 Years of Congregation Mickve Israel and Jewish Life in Savannah 1733-2008” 1733 – 1765 Burial Grounds: Shortly after the Jews arrived in 1733, General James Oglethorpe set aside a plot of land for their use as a burial ground just south of the city’s limits at South Broad Street, now known as Oglethorpe Avenue.  Read more…..a