10 Facts About Georgia Jews

First Jewish Governor and One of the Largest Jewish Film Festivals


By Adam Chanes and Gabe Friedman

Published August 12, 2014, issue of August 08, 2014.

1.127,470 Jews live in Georgia. That’s 1.3% of the population.

2.About 92% of Georgia’s Jews live in Atlanta, and the city’s number of congregations in the city has gone from 5 in 1968 to 38 in 2005.

3.Colonel Mordechai Sheftall, from Savannah, was the highest ranking Jewish officer in the Continental Army.

4.Former New York Yankee and Chicago White Sox Ron Blomberg, Major League Baseball’s first designated hitter, grew up in Georgia.

5.Leb’s Delicatessen, a Jewish deli in Atlanta, was a prominent locale for the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

6.David Emanuel, governor of Georgia in 1801, is believed to be the first Jewish governor of any state.

7.Jews lived in Savannah as early as Georgia’s founding. James Oglethorpe, the colony’s founder and governor known for advocating on behalf of England’s indigent population, welcomed Jews openly.

8.The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival is the second largest jewish film festival in the country.

9.In 1935, Rabbi Tobias Geffen gave Atlanta-based Coca Cola his approval for year-round consumption.

10.One of Atlanta’s most famous Jewish residents was fictional: Daisy, star of Alfred Uhry’s play and film “Driving Miss Daisy.”



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