The Temple - Atlanta, GA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Lat34North
N 33° 47.882 W 084° 23.350
16S E 741706 N 3742827
Quick Description: The Temple (formally, the Hebrew Benevolent Congregation), established in 1867, is the oldest Jewish congregation in Atlanta. Located on Peachtree St., near I-85, Atlanta, GA.
Location: Georgia, United States
Date Posted: 10/4/2009 12:49:12 PM
Waymark Code: WM7CAW
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 1

Long Description:
The Temple (formally, the Hebrew Benevolent Congregation), established in 1867, is the oldest Jewish congregation in Atlanta. Located on Peachtree St., near I-85, Atlanta, GA.

The Temple has been the foundation for Jewish life in Atlanta from the mid 1800s. We welcome you to learn more about our history in Atlanta and our historic facility.

The Jewish Community of Atlanta dates back to 1844, barely five years after the Georgia General Assembly decided to build railroads with their terminal here in Atlanta. In 1860, the Jewish community formed the Hebrew Benevolent Society for the purpose of obtaining a burial ground and organizing relief for the Jewish poor. In 1867 The Hebrew Benevolent Congregation -- now known as The Temple -- was chartered as the first official Jewish organization in Atlanta.

In its early years, The Temple was Orthodox. In 1895, Rabbi David Marx brought Reform Judaism to The Temple. Ever since then, our congregation has been a member of the Union for Reform Judaism (formerly known as the Union of American Hebrew Congregations).

A word about Reform Judaism. The Reform movement began in the early 1800s in central and western Europe. It serves as a way for the Jew to bridge the demands of an ancient covenant and the ever-emerging realities of the modern world. Reform Judaism emphasizes a mature choice of mitzvot -- choices made through the twin poles of commitment and knowledge. In addition, the heritage of the prophets -- passionate defenders of the weak -- is particularly important to us. That devotion to justice is central to the mission of The Temple.

This devotion to justice sometimes has its costs. Because of the late Rabbi Jacob Rothschild's insistence on racial integration, The Temple was bombed on October 12, 1958 at 3:37 a.m. Fifty sticks of dynamite blew open the northern side of the building. Although Rabbi Rothschild's commitment to social justice angered some citizens, there were many more who were outraged at the bombing. An outpouring of support came from around the world to help The Temple rebuild. It is in honor of this support that The Temple's social hall was once named "Friendship Hall." You can learn more about this important period in American history by reading Melissa Faye Greene's classic book The Temple Bombing.

The Temple is unique in many ways -- not least of all because it has had so few rabbis in its history: Rabbi David Marx served from 1895 to 1946; Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, from 1946 to 1973; Rabbi Alvin M. Sugarman, 1974 to 2004; and Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin, who came to The Temple in the summer of 2003. Each rabbi has contributed his own gifts, both to The Temple and the Jewish and general community. In addition, numerous associate and assistant rabbis have enriched The Temple through their teaching and pastoral skills. The clergy team is augmented by Cantor Deborah Benardot, our "sweet singer of Israel," who adds depth and spirituality to our services.

The Temple is a synagogue that emphasizes "the three Hs" -- heart (Jewish spirituality), head (Jewish learning) and hand (Jewish activism). Our proudest contribution to Judaism's legacy of activism is The Temple Zaban Night Shelter for homeless couples. The shelter is located in the Selig Building on The Temple property. This shelter is staffed almost exclusively by volunteers and since 1985, operates nightly from October through May. It was recently re-furbished.

The Temple web site (visit link)
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Lat34North visited The Temple - Atlanta, GA 5/11/2009 Lat34North visited it

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