Museum & Tours

building

Highlights of Your Tour

Our neo-gothic sanctuary, 

The two oldest Torah scrolls in North America,

Our Holocaust Torah (you will learn of its ties to our congregation),

Our collection of letters from George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and 10 other presidents

 

Congregation Mickve Israel is located in the Historic District of Savannah on beautiful Monterey Square on Bull Street (our physical address is 20 East Gordon Street, but the entrance for tours is at 20 Wayne Street).

We offer tours that start at 10am. . The last tour starts at approximately 3:30pm. Tours last between 30-45 minutes. There are no tours on Saturday or Sunday, most public holidays, and on those Jewish holidays when the Sanctuary is closed for services. (Tours are offered on Super Museum Sunday from 1-4.)

The tours are led by experienced and enthusiastic docents, all of whom are volunteers, and most of whom are members of our congregation.

If you will be visiting Savannah during a period that includes a Jewish or Federal holiday and would like to verify that we’ll be open, please check with us. Tours typically last between thirty-five to forty-five minutes, but we recommend allowing extra time for browsing the excellent selection of gifts and souvenirs available in our Judaica & Gift Shop

No reservations are necessary for individuals taking a tour, so long as you plan on arriving during the hours listed above. There is a charge for the tour which goes to assist in the upkeep of our historic facilities.

Group Tours require advance arrangements. Please send us an email at info@mickveisrael.org with the details and our Welcome Specialist will contact you to finalize your reservation. 

Parking: Please note that our facility does not have a parking garage or lot, so be sure to bring change for the parking meters. There is ample on-street parking at either the two-hour or five-hour parking meters around Monterey Square, and parking rates are generally $1.00 per hour. 

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 Rabbis Since 1853

The Rabbis of Congregation Mickve Israel Since 1853

Jacob Rosenfeld (1853 – 1862)

Raphael de Castro Lewin (1867 – 1869)

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]

Read more…..

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…..