Travelrific® Travel Journal

A blog for travel enthusiasts. Listen to our podcasts on the blogroll at Travelrific® Radio. Visit our Wanderful Places® Travel Shop for travel-inspired merchandise!

America’s Oldest Synagogue

By Linda Tancs

In colonial times, Newport, Rhode Island, welcomed its first Jewish residents as early as 1658. A century later, the population had grown substantially with the rise of the mercantile trade, giving rise to the need for a place of worship that was named Congregation Jeshuat Israel (Salvation of Israel). It was later renamed Touro Synagogue after Newport natives Abraham and Judah Touro, who both provided bequests to see to the perpetual care and maintenance of the Congregation’s properties. Designated a National Historic Site in 1946, the synagogue boasts a connection to George Washington, who adopted many of the views on religious liberties and the separation of church and state that were espoused by the congregation’s president during his address to Washington at Newport. In fact, Washington’s written response to the congregation is an annual celebrated event, lauded and commemorated as possibly having the greatest impact on America and American Jewry. The next annual reading of George Washington’s historic letter “To the Hebrew Congregation at Newport” will take place on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Advertisements

No comments yet»

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: