Menorah shines as Jewish museum in Augusta makes progress

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AUGUSTA, Ga (WRDW / WAGT) – As the lights of the Jewish holiday Hanukkah continue to shine in the CSRA, the Jewish Museum in Augusta continues to celebrate.

A large menorah sits atop the steps of the original Congregation of Israel synagogue at 525 Telfair Street, lit every night as a symbol of bringing light to darkness.

The historic building built in 1869 comes back to life as the cultural center of the Augusta Jewish Museum.

Fundraising efforts continue to complete the renovation which will be a rental location for events as well as a community hall, offices and collection management space.

Recent grants include those from:

  • The Porter Fleming Foundation for the Augusta Jewish Museum Education Center exhibits.
  • The Creel-Harison Foundation for Exposure Technology.
  • The CSRA Community Foundation and Masters Tournament, $ 15,000 for the Holocaust exhibits of a Torah survivor and the Nazi flag with the signatures of the liberators of Buchenwald.
  • Georgia Humanities, $ 2,500 for the museum’s video compilation of local oral histories.

Local donations help sponsor the management of the collection, with the second Sunday educational series featuring music and the making of exhibits.

“We are delighted to receive such generous community support,” said Museum Board Chair Jack Weinstein.

Since 2015, when the city of Augusta announced its intention to demolish two historic buildings on Telfair Street to make room for the municipal parking lot, interested citizens, led by the late historian Jack Steinberg, have organized the Jewish Museum of Augusta and, with the help of Historic Augusta, worked to raise funds and restore iconic buildings.

Weinstein noted that the Augusta Jewish Museum continues to seek grants, donations and volunteers. It invites the community to learn more about www.augustajewishmuseum.org.

To come up…

The AJM education center (historic Cour d’Ordinaire from 1860) has been completed and visits are by appointment until the exhibits are fully ready. On the second Sunday of each month, the community can learn about Jewish heritage. On December 12 at 2 p.m., the community will learn about the history of the Jewish people with an online tour of the ANU (“We”) – the Museum of the Jewish People of Tel Aviv. Participation is free but registration is required on www.augustajewishmuseum.org or 706-72601542.

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