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Jewish Research and Education - Cuba Family Archives, Finding Aids

Date Span:  1958-1983

Creator:  Congregation Beth Jacob (Atlanta, Ga.)

Summary/Abstract:  Congregation Beth Jacob is an Orthodox congregation located in Atlanta, Georgia, that was founded in 1943 and is in existence today. The records consists of annual reports, minutes, correspondence, financial records, membership information, bulletins, newsletters, and building plans for both the 1855 Lavista Road building and its expansion in the 1970s.

Quantity/Physical Description: 1.2 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  Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright.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 215, Congregation Beth Jacob (Atlanta, Ga.) Records, The Cuba Family Archives for Southern Jewish History, The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, 1440 Spring Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30309.

Processed by:  Rachel Katz (October, 2011)

Arrangement:  The records are arranged in alphabetical order by subject and chronologically within each folder.

Biographical/Historical Note:  Congregation Beth Jacob is an Orthodox congregation located in Atlanta, Georgia. While the Congregation was officially founded in 1943 with its first permanent location, a converted private residence on Boulevard, its roots begin in 1931; a small group of observant members of Ahavath Achim felt uncomfortable with the modernizing ritual, believing it was not “religious enough.” Thus, they began to organize their own High Holiday services in homes and vacant stores before finding their own building in 1943. In 1956, the Congregation moved to 475 Boulevard, Northeast, which had previously housed the Tabernacle Baptist Church. However, by 1962, the Congregation was moving once more, this time to a newly erected building made specifically to be their synagogue. The forty members of 1951 had grown to 190 families by 1962. While the former locations were converted buildings, this new location at 1855 Lavista Road, was the “fulfillment of a cherished dream,” according to their New Building Brochure, “a place of worship combining all the features necessary for the convenience of a modern and growing community.” Indeed, by the early 1970s the Congregation began fundraising to add a much needed expansion to their new building—by 1976, membership had reached 500 families. Rabbi Yosef Saffra, in 1951, became Congregation Beth Jacob’s first permanent rabbi. Under his leadership, Beth Jacob established a religious school and a program of adult education. Shortly thereafter, in 1952, Rabbi Emanuel Feldman joined the Congregation as its religious leader, and would remain in the position until his retirement in 1991. Throughout Rabbi Feldman’s tenure, he exerted a strong effort to maintain a strict Orthodox presence in the community, even raising the height of the mechitza three times. His efforts proved fruitful as the Congregation grew and flourished under his guidance. His son, Rabbi Ilan Feldman, who began serving as assistant rabbi in 1980, stepped in to his father’s position as senior rabbi in 1991. Rabbis Rabbi Emanuel Feldman (1927-) Rabbi Ilan Feldman Presidents: Michael B. Feinerman (1938-) served 1983 Robert Maran (1924-) served 1980-1982 Louis Taratoot (1923-) served 1979-1980 Abe Esral (1931-) served 1977-1979 Neal Busch (1936-) served 1975-1977 Ben Rabinowitz (1928-2011) served 1973-1975 Ben Hirsch (1932-) served 1971-1973, also Architect of Lavista Road building Epstein & Hirsch Architects Edwin Galler (1931-2006) served 1970-1971, also Co-Chairman of Building Expansion Campaign Petty Bregman (1926-) served 1969-1970, also Co-Chairman of Building Expansion Campaign Jack Hirsch (1931-2003) served 1967-1969 Larry Nager (1914-) served 1963-1967 Maurice Krieger (1914-) served 1962-1963 Morris Simberg (1920-1980) served 1960-1962 Sol Abrams (1905-1992) served 1959-1960 Ben Golden (1912-2007) served 1958-1959 Others: Jack Berchenko (1910-2003) Campaign Chairman of Lavista Road Building Fund Sol Krieger (1916-) Building Fund Chairman of Lavista Road Building Fund Albert Moyer Wood (1914-2010) decorator of 1855 Lavista Road building, Albert Wood and Five Sons Milton Hood Ward (1917-) Consultant for fundraising Lavista Road building, Milton Hood Ward and Co Art Buchanan (19?-?) Director of fundraising Lavista Road building, Milton Hood Ward and Co Senator Abraham Ribicoff (1910-1998) honored at the dedication of Lavista Road building in 1962 Tabernacle Baptist Church Owners of synagogue building Boulevard, Northeast.

Scope and Content:  Researchers studying the Congregation Beth Jacob (Atlanta, Ga.) Records will gain insight into Jewish religious life in Atlanta, Georgia. The records are arranged in alphabetical order by subject and chronologically within each folder.

Collection Inventory

Box File Description Date
1 1 Board of Trustee – minutes 1958-1962
2 Board of Trustee – minutes 1963-1964
3 Board of Trustee – minutes 1965-1966
4 Board of Trustee – minutes 1967-1968
5 Board of Trustee – minutes 1969-1971
6 Board of Trustee – minutes 1972-1973
2 1 Board of Trustee – minutes 1974-1975
2 Board of Trustee – minutes 1976-1977
3 Board of Trustee – minutes 1978-1979
4 Board of Trustee – minutes 1980-1981
5 Board of Trustee – minutes 1982-1983
3 1 Bulletins – Beth Jacob News 1958-1971
3 Bulletins – Beth Jacob Newsletter 1960-1964
4 Bulletins – Beth Jacob Newsletter 1965-1969
5 Bulletins – Beth Jacob Newsletter 1971-1974
6 Bulletins – Beth Jacob Newsletter 1975-1979
7 Bulletins – Beth Jacob Newsletter 1980-1983
4 1 Bulletins – Beth Jacob Magazine 1971-1983
2 Constitution 1960
3 Dedication book 1962
4 Directories 1977-1979
5 Directories 1979-1981
6 Directories 1983
7 Directories 1987
8 Directories 1994-1995
9 Feldman, Rabbi Emanuel – tribute 1991
10 Finance – Progressive Club Stock 1974
11 Finance – Statements 1961-1976
12 Finance – Tabernacle Baptist Church 1960-1964
5 1 Membership – rosters 1959, Undated
2 Membership – minutes and related material 1958-1964
3 Membership – minutes and related material 1970-1982
4 Miscellaneous 1964-1978
5 New Building – Blueprints, Brochure, and Permits 1960-1961
6 New Building – Campaign Bulletin 1960
7 New Building – Committees – Advance Gift Committee 1960
8 New Building – Committees – Building Fund Committee 1960-1961
9 New Building – Committees – Executive Committee 1960-1961
10 New Building – Committees – General Solicitation 1960
11 New Building – Committees – Leadership Gift Committee 1960
12 New Building – Contractor – Albert Wood and Five Sons 1960-1970
13 New Building – Contractor – Atlanta Fixtures and Sales 1961-1968
6 1 New Building – Contractor – Furniture 1961-1962
2 New Building – Contractor – Georgia Power Company 1961-1963
3 New Building – Contractor – Milton Hood Ward 1960-1963
4 New Building – Contractor – Richard Naiman & Co 1960-1965
5 New Building – Events – Dedication – Correspondence 1962-1963
6 New Building – Events – Dedication – Speech, Lists, Receipts 1962-1963
7 New Building – Events – Groundbreaking 1961
8 New Building – Finance – Miscellaneous Receipts 1960-1964
9 New Building – Finance – Pledges – Available Memorial List Undated
10 New Building – Finance – Pledges – Correspondence 1960-1969
11 New Building – Finance – Pledges – Lists 1960-1968
12 New Building – Finance – Pledges – Slips 1960
13 New Building – Finance – Projected Costs and Statements 1960
14 New Building Expansion – Blueprints and Permits 1971-1977
15 New Building Expansion – Campaign Bulletin 1973-1974
16 New Building Expansion – Committees – Expansion Committee 1968-1977
17 New Building Expansion – Committees – Lists 1973
18 New Building Expansion – Committees – Solicitation 1973-1974
19 New Building Expansion – Committees – Subcommittees 1972-1973
7 1 New Building Expansion – Contractor – Epstein & Hirsch 1971-1978
2 New Building Expansion – Contractor – Milton Hood Ward 1973-1974
3 New Building Expansion – Finance 1973-1977
4 New Building Expansion – Finance – Miscellaneous Receipts 1971-1978
5 New Building Expansion – Finance – Pledges – Correspondence 1973-1978
6 New Building Expansion – Finance – Pledges – Lists 1973-1976


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