also see West Point, GA
Congregation defunct. In 1859, (Reform) Congregation Beth El was founded. Building dates from 1909. Jews from Opelika (see Auburn) and LaFayette, Alabama, and LaGrange, Georgia used the site. The congregation continued on until 1977, when it disbanded and sold the temple, which was later torn down. The religious artifacts from the synagogue were given to Temple Israel in Columbus, Georgia, where most of the remaining Jews of Lanett and West Point went for services.Lanett, Alabama and West Point, Georgia are twin cities, located right next to one another across the Chattahoochee River. Rabbi Laurence Schlesinger, formerly of Columbus, Ga., now of Beth Or, Montgomery, said he officiated at burial of last Jew in Lanett a few years ago.[Date? prior to 1999] [January 2009]
Jewish history and photographs [January 2009]
- Marseilles Cemetery: In 1940, the congregation purchased a section in this newly-established cemetery as the old cemetery was filling up. Jewish section is immediately across the road from the Jewish section of Pinewood Cemetery.
- Old Jewish Cemetery: (Temple Beth-El) Located in Pinewood Cemetery, just over the state line in West Point, Ga., on U.S. 29. The Jewish section is on top of the hill overlooking the highway, on the opposite end from the cemetery¹s historic markers. A monument memorializes Louis Merz, who was killed fighting for the Confederacy. The congregation was located in Lanett.
- UPDATE: Source: Larry Brook, Deep South Jewish Voice, Birmingham, AL. [June 2001]
- Photos and Source: "This old almost abandoned looking cemetery is off Victory Dr and Esquiline Dr. It is at the end of Kent Court. I had to park and walk a little ways through trees and bushes to find this one. There are houses around it in this heavily populated neighborhood, but it is still in a somewhat wooded area. I was told by two separate sources that this was an old jewish cemetery. I could not get close enough to see names or dates, but it is still interesting. ... one of the markers appears to be a statue with the head and arms missing." [April 2010]