Temple Mickve Israel
Savannah, GA 31401
Tours: Monday - Friday: 10:00a - 12:00p & 2:00p - 4:00p
Duration: 30 to 43 minutes
Closed Jewish & Federal Holidays
Temple Mickve Israel was founded by a group of Jews, mainly of Spanish-Portuguese extraction, which landed at Savannah, July 11, 1733, five months after the establishment of the Colony of Georgia.
Temple Mickve Israel, in Savannah, is America's third-oldest Jewish congregation, and the oldest Jewish congregation in the South. In 1820, the congregation built their first synagogue in Georgia at the corner of Liberty and Whitaker Streets. The small wooden structure was the first synagogue built in Georgia but in 1829 the temple was destroyed by fire. On the same site a new brick building was built and consecrated in 1841.
With the growth in Savannah's Jewish population, the congregation outgrew its structure. It planned for a new building and construction began in 1876 laying the cornerstone for its current structure on March 1, 1876. The completed building was consecrated two years later.
Early and recent documents and objects relating to Jewish life in Savannah and Georgia are on display in the Temple Micke Israel’s Museum. You can also find the temple’s original 15th century Torah in the museum.
The Temple Mickve Israel has the oldest congregation who now practice Reform Judaism in the United States. The present Synagogue was consecrated on April 11, 1878 and is the only Gothic synagogue in America.