Chant of Ages; Cry of Cotton

  • From the Publisher
May 22, 2014

The Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty in Val­dos­ta, Geor­gia, has been pray­ing in a syn­a­gogue since 1920; for­mal­ly orga­nized as a con­gre­ga­tion in 1908; and has cel­e­brat­ed reli­gious ser­vices con­tin­u­al­ly since 1894. All that began at Val­dosta’s Sim Smith’s Cor­ner” in 1866 with the arrival of a Con­fed­er­ate vet­er­an, Abra­ham Ehrlich. His fam­i­ly, along with the Engels and Marks fam­i­lies who fol­lowed, were the hith­er­to three lost Jew­ish fam­i­lies.” Their untold sto­ry chal­lenges the image of the per­se­cut­ed Jew in the South. Rely­ing heav­i­ly both on their own words and those of their Gen­tile neigh­bors, an intri­cate, warm, inti­mate, and human saga unfolds. You’ll peek over their shoul­ders at work, play, and prayer as they become respect­ed and revered promi­nent mem­bers of the town’s soci­ety and con­trib­u­tors to its post-Civ­il War recov­ery and growth. In these pages, you’ll see a more humane, kinder, more recep­tive, more accept­ing, more hos­pitable, and gen­tler Geor­gia than is usu­al­ly sup­posed. And as such, read­ing this tale is more of an expe­ri­ence than just a casu­al read.

Discussion Questions