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Finding Aids | The Breman Museum

Jewish Research and Education - Cuba Family Archives, Finding Aids

Date Span:  1924 - 1984

Creator:  Rabbi Tobias Geffen Family

Summary/Abstract:  Rabbi Tobias Geffen was a spiritual leader in Atlanta for much of the 20th century and is most known for his decision to certify Coca-Cola as kosher. His papers consist of a eulogy of Harold Hirsch written by Rabbi Tobias Geffen, newspaper articles regarding Geffen family members, and membership rosters from Mizrachi Women, an organization in which Bessie Geffen Wilensky was active.

Quantity/Physical Description: .2 linear feet

Language(s):  English

Repository:  The Cuba Family Archives for Southern Jewish History, The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, 1440 Spring Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30309.

Restrictions on Access:  There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.

Restrictions on Use:  Copyright restrictions may apply.  Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright.  Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation:  Box #, Folder #, Mss 105, Rabbi Tobias Geffen Family Papers, The Cuba Family Archives for Southern Jewish History, The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, 1440 Spring Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30309.

Arrangement:  All materials arranged in alphabetical order by subject and chronically within each folder.

Biographical/Historical Note:  Tobias Geffen was born in Kovno, Lithuania, on August 1, 1870, and was educated in a yeshiva in Slobodka.  He immigrated to the United States in 1903 and after serving as rabbi at congregations in New York City and Canton, Ohio, he accepted the pulpit at Congregation Shearith Israel in Atlanta in 1907.  He remained at Shearith Israel for the next 60 years. Rabbi Geffen is popularly known for his decision to certify Coca-Cola as kosher. Since he lived in Atlanta near the company’s headquarters, he received many inquiries from rabbis across the country regarding whether or not the drink was kosher. Rabbi Geffen asked for the recipe and received it on the condition he not disclose the formula, which was a closely guarded trade secret. In 1935, he issued a responsum that the drink was kosher for year-round consumption.

Scope and Content Researchers studying the Rabbi Tobias Geffen Papers will gain insight into orthodox Jewish life during the 20th century. All materials arranged in alphabetical order by subject and chronically within each folder.

Collection Inventory

Box File Description Date
1 1 Amit Women – Atlanta Chapter (formerly Mizrachi Women) 1981 – 1982
2 Hirsch, Harold – eulogy 1940
3 Hirsch, Harold – newspaper printing black undated
4 Miscellany Undated
5 Newspaper Clippings 1957 – 1984
6 Prayer book 1924
7 The William Breman Jewish Home 1952

 

Posted in: Finding aids

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