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Menorah shines as Augusta Jewish Museum marks progress

A large menorah sits at the top of the steps of the original Congregation of Israel Synagogue...
A large menorah sits at the top of the steps of the original Congregation of Israel Synagogue at 525 Telfair St., lighted each night as a symbol of bringing light to darkness.(WRDW)
Published: Dec. 4, 2021 at 2:01 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - As the lights of Jewish holiday of Hanukkah continue to shine in the CSRA, the Augusta Jewish Museum continues to celebrate.

A large menorah sits at the top of the steps of the original Congregation of Israel Synagogue at 525 Telfair St., lighted each night as a symbol of bringing light to darkness.

The historic building built in 1869 is coming to life again as the Augusta Jewish Museum Cultural Center.

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

Among the recent grants are ones from:

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

Local donations are helping to sponsor collection management, the second Sunday education series including music, and exhibit fabrication.

“We are delighted to receive such generous community support” said museum board President Jack Weinstein.

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

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

Coming up ...

The AJM Education Center (historic 1860 Court of Ordinary) is complete, and tours are by appointment until displays are fully ready. On the second Sunday of each month, the community can learn about Jewish heritage. On Dec. 12 at 2 p.m., the community will learn about the story of the Jewish People with an online tour of ANU (“We”) – the Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv. Participation is free but registration is required at www.augustajewishmuseum.org or 706-72601542.

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