Faith In Action Around the State

Council 11028 Helps rebuild Jewish Cemetery in Georgetown, SC 25 Jan 2024

It was brought to the attention of the Pawleys Island Council Number 11028 that a synagogue in Georgetown, SC has a cemetery that requires repair. A donation was needed to go towards the cost of improving the brick-and-mortar foundation, repairing and extending the iron fence, and restoring the gate.

Temple Beth Elohim Cemetery was founded in 1772 in Georgetown, South Carolina. The building is at the corner of Screven Street and Highmarket Street, but the cemetery is at Broad Street and Duke Street.

Georgetown is the third oldest city in the U.S., in the state of South Carolina and the county seat of Georgetown County, in the Lowcountry. Located on Winyah Bay at the confluence of the Black, Great Pee Dee, Waccamaw, and Sampit rivers, Georgetown is the second largest seaport in South Carolina, handling over 960,000 tons of materials a year, while Charleston is the largest. Beginning in the colonial era, Georgetown was the commercial center of an indigo- and rice-producing area. Rice replaced indigo as the chief commodity crop in the antebellum area. Later the timber industry became important here.

Jews arrived in the historic seaport of Georgetown, S.C. in the mid-1700s. It is the second oldest Jewish burial site in the state. It contains the graves of three of Georgetown’s six Jewish mayors. One of the mayors greeted President George Washington on his 1791 Southern Tour. Before the beginning of the 20th century, there had been 5 Jewish intendants – or mayors – of the city: Solomon Cohen, Abraham Myers, Aaron Lopez, Solomon Cohen, Jr., and Louis Erlich. In the recent 20th century, Sylvan Rosen was the 6th Jewish mayor of Georgetown.

Services are held every Friday night with 20-30 in attendance. There is a full Torah service every Friday Night and an Oneg (social function) after services on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month (except June, July, and August). Much work has been done on the buildings and grounds, and to the interior.

Council member Robbie Crompton met with Andy Friedman, a representative of the Temple, who explained the financial need. Crompton reported back to the Council and requested a consideration to make a donation. On January 19, 2024, Crompton and his wife attended the Friday night services and presented the $1000 check to Rabbi Scott Weiner. The congregation was surprised and delighted. Crompton said in his remarks that one of the pillars of the Knights was “community.” Because this Temple’s members have played such an important part in the history of Georgetown, it satisfies that commitment. Crompton and his wife were very well received and enjoyed the fellowship of the members of the Temple.

Knight Robbie Crompton presents check to Rabbi Scott Weiner.