Augusta Jewish Museum soon to be reality – The Augusta Chronicle

Posted By on June 22, 2020

Plans to convert a historic synagogue and court building built in the 1860s into the Augusta Jewish Museum are moving along, with a first phase expected to open by December.

Historic Augusta and the Augusta Jewish Museum Board commemorated the start of construction Wednesday to convert the former Richmond County Court of Ordinary building into Phase 1 of the museum.

Subjects to be covered at the museum include early Jewish history in Augusta, the holocaust, Jewish traditions and heritage and Israel, museum board member Robyn Wittenberg Dudley said.

"Those subjects are of interest to everybody these days, not just the Jewish people. So what were trying to do is be a center of learning and understanding for all people," she said.

Museum board chairman Jack Weinstein said the museum continued the dream of Jack Steinberg, who worked tirelessly on the museum until he died last year.

Weinstein said he hopes the museum will help unite the community.

"We hope it will encourage the community to come together and learn about each other and teach tolerance, understanding and love," he said.

Mayor Hardie Davis reflected on deep ties between Black and Jewish people and his trip to Israel, where he visited gathering places he hopes the museum will resemble.

The museum expects to open its first phase in the fireproof court building, which was built in 1860 to protect important document from fires, according to Historic Augusta.

In coming months, the museum will expand into the adjacent former Congregation Children of Israel Synagogue. Built in 1869, the Greek Revival-style temple is the oldest standing synagogue in Georgia.

Five years ago, Historic Augusta, Steinberg and community members launched an effort to save the synagogue and court building from the citys plan to demolish them to make more parking for Augusta Municipal Building.

The museum board has engaged Ellen Neal Pruitt with Studio 3 Design Group as architect for the construction and Duckworth Development as general contractor.

Jewish museum still in works

Museum proposed as effort to save historic temple

Augusta Jewish Museum website

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Augusta Jewish Museum soon to be reality - The Augusta Chronicle

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