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The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue

By Linda Tancs

Known as “the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue,” New York City’s Congregation Shearith Israel is the first Jewish congregation to be established in North America. It was established in 1654 in what was then New Amsterdam by Jews who left Dutch Brazil. Members of the congregation have led distinguished lives, enriching both the city and America. Its famous members include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo and poet Emma Lazarus, whose poem “The New Colossus” is inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty. The synagogue is located on 70th Street at Central Park West.

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