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Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 10:33am

Re-examining Atlanta's Jewish History

In March, The PBS documentary series “ The Story of The Jews” chronicled the impact of the Jewish diaspora through 300 years of art, history, and culture.

GPB’s “On The Story” brought that series closer to home with an hour-long look at Jewish influence in the South, particularly in the state of Georgia.

The story of the Jewish people in Georgia dates back to almost 300 years to July 1733. That year, a party of 42 Jews landed in Savannah to take up residence in the Georgia colony that had been established 5 months earlier by James Oglethorpe. That group was the largest group of Jews to land in North America in colonial times.

One of the most sentimental moments in Georgia’s Jewish happened in 1958, when a group of white supremacists and anti-Semitic hate groups bombed the Hebrew Benevolent Congregation on Peachtree Street--what was widely called “the Temple.” The Temple’s leader, Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, was a staunch ally of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and he used his pulpit to advocate for social justice.

Tuesday, March 8, GPB will host a panel discussion with leaders of Atlanta’s Jewish community. Moderated by “On The Story” hosts Bill Nigut and Bobbie Battista, the panel will discuss the impact of the Temple bombing on Georgia’s Jewish history and how those events are still relevant in 2014.

Janice Rothschild, the widow of Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, spoke with "On The Story" about the 1958 Atlanta Temple bombing.

The “On The Story” panel weighs in on the future of the Jewish community in Georgia.

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