Thirteen leaders of the Jewish community of Waycross organized a congregation in 1924. The Institute of Southern Jewish Life notes that there were 47 Jews in Waycross by 1937 but plans to build a synagogue were delayed by the Great Depression. This structure was begun in 1952 and dedicated in 1953. It continues to serve a small but active congregation. Jews from neighboring communities occasionally attend services here, as is often the case with other small synagogues in Georgia.
Tag Archives: Judaism in South Georgia
This home, with Neoclassical and Queen Anne elements, was built for Moses Leader and Nahum Aaron Rosansky, likely by Ivey P. Crutchfield. It’s the only surviving home associated with any of Vidalia’s founding fathers. Leader and Rosansky were Polish Jews who immigrated to America in 1890 to escape anti-semitism. They didn’t know each other when the first met in Augusta and formed a business partnership. Moses Leader came to Vidalia first, while Rosansky stayed behind in Augusta building capital. Leader peddled goods from door to door at first. Rosansky was in Vidalia by about 1895, when the two opened their store. The Leader & Rosansky Store was the biggest in Vidalia from the late 1890s until its closure, and the owners were instrumental in developing the commercial district of the town. The pair also bought over sixty acres of land and developed it for commercial, religious, and residential purposes. Mr. Leader’s sister, Rosa, came to Vidalia in 1902 and married Mr. Rosansky. It was a thriving family business. Rosa Rosansky died in the flu outbreak of 1918 and the store was closed by 1928. Mr. Rosansky died in 1930. They had two daughters, but only one, Anna Rosansky Bauman, lived to adulthood. She sold the house to Marvin Shuman in 1945. The Shuman’s daughter, Anita Shuman Momand notes that when they purchased the home the spindles on the cast iron fence were each painted a different color.
National Register of Historic Places
Fitzgerald’s Hebrew Congregation has its own section in Evergreen Cemetery. My dear friend Connie Kruger notes that her father-in-law, Abe Kruger, put a lot of effort into getting this cemetery established. It was established in 1954 by Kruger, as Chairman, along with Philip Halperin, Charles Harris, Dr. Morris Kusnitz, and Rabbi Nathan Kohen.
Fitzgerald is the smallest town in Georgia with an active synagogue, and the history of the congregation is quite fascinating.
South Main-South Lee Historic District, National Register of Historic Places