Holiday tours at the Governor’s Mansion will again include a section devoted to Chanukah, thanks to a partnership between Temple Emanu-El and first lady Sandra Deal.

Chanukah decorations will be on display at the mansion Dec. 5 to Dec. 16, when the holiday tours end.

Governor Nathan Deal and First Lady Sandra Deal (left) listen as Temple Emanu-El Cantor Lauren Adesnik (center) and Rabbi Spike Anderson sing prayers on the eighth night of Chanukah.

Gov. Nathan Deal and first lady Sandra Deal (left) listen as Temple Emanu-El Cantor Lauren Adesnik (center) and Rabbi Spike Anderson sing prayers on the eighth night of Chanukah in 2015.

On Sunday, Dec. 11, the mansion will host a special exhibit designed by the Temple Emanu-El Sisterhood on the Jewish history of Georgia.

Among the pieces are a letter from George Washington welcoming Jewish immigrants to Savannah, memorabilia from the first peach farmer in Georgia, who was Jewish, and photos of the Jewish family that baked the first batch of Girl Scout cookies.

The Emanu-El youth choir will sing, and a special gift will be presented to Sandra Deal.

“We’ve put up the only Chanukah decorations at the Governor’s Mansion for the past seven years, and we’re thrilled to be invited back again,” event chair Wendy Frank said. “Our hope is that if there is anything that the governor needs or anyone in the state needs … related to Judaism that they think of us and reach out.”

The Chanukah event has grown in recent years. On the eighth night of Chanukah last year, Israel’s consul general to the Southeast, Ambassador Judith Varnai Shorer, joined clergy and members from Emanu-El in helping Gov. Nathan Deal and the first lady light the menorah.

There won’t be a menorah lighting this year, though, because Chanukah doesn’t begin until the night of Dec. 24.


What: “Jewish Journey Through Georgia”

Where:  Governor’s Mansion, 391 West Paces Ferry Road, Buckhead

When: 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11

Cost: Free

Info: mansion.georgia.gov/2016-holiday-tours