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The Southern Israelite Archive

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  • Coverage Dates: 1929-1986
  • Audience: General, student, research

The Southern Israelite Archive spans the years 1929-1986 and includes over 48,000 images. Rabbi H. Cerf Straus established the Southern Israelite as a temple bulletin in Augusta in 1925. The publication was so popular, he expanded it into a monthly newspaper. Later in the decade, Straus sold the paper to Herman Dessauer and Sara B. Simmons, who moved the paper to Atlanta, where it began circulating state-wide and eventually throughout the South. In 1930, M. Stephen Schiffer, a former employee of the Atlanta Georgian, took over as sole owner of the Southern Israelite. Even in these earliest years, the paper not only covered the news of the southern Jewry, but also the issues that involved Jewish populations throughout the nation and world, including the Holocaust and later the creation of the Jewish state of Israel. In October of 1934, the Southern Israelite began publishing a four page weekly edition, supplemented by its established monthly magazine edition. Ownership of the paper was turned over to a corporation headed by Israelite editor Adolph Rosenberg in 1951, while the paper continued its mission as the voice of the Jewish community in Atlanta. In October of 1958, the paper was at the forefront of the coverage of the Temple bombing in Atlanta, giving its readers a unique first hand perspective. The monthly edition of the paper was discontinued in 1973 in favor of its increasingly growing weekly edition. In 1987, the paper changed its name from the Southern Israelite to the Atlanta Jewish Times and guaranteed at least thirty-two page issues moving forward. The paper is today owned by Jewish Renaissance Media and continues as a weekly publication with a readership of over 25,000.

The Southern Israelite database is a project of the Digital Library of Georgia. Digitization is made possible by the Cuba Archives of the Breman Museum and the generosity of the Srochi family of Atlanta.

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