I just returned from Savannah, Georgia—an interesting city with an interesting history, both from a Jewish and from a secular standpoint. As I do in most cities, and particularly of late since I am still saying kaddish for my father, I seek out synagogues and other Jewish communal institutions. We were drawn to Savannah because of the historical Mickve Israel synagogue, which was indeed worth the trip. It is an incredible architectural structure steeped in history. For daily minyan and for shabbat, we spent time at Agudath Achim, a modest Conservative synagogue whose original building—now an evangelical church—was only a few feet away from the refurbished mansion (now hotel) in which we stayed off of the well-known Forsyth Park.
The folks at Agudath Achim couldn’t have been more hospitable. They welcomed us in with old-fashioned southern hospitality from the moment we arrived. They even made sure that we had homemade challah and wine for Shabbat. Though I was a stranger, I felt like part of the community, and I only hope that I continue to find other institutions as welcoming in my travels.