Loeb Visitors CenterTouro Synagogue National Historic Site, Newport, RI

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How much blame does Trump truly bear for the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting?

By James Kirchick
Courtesy: The Washington Post
Published November 21, 2018

Every year at Passover, Jews gather to celebrate God’s freeing our forefathers from bondage. Seated around the seder table, we exult in the song “Dayenu,” which, in Hebrew, translates as “It would have been enough.” Over the course of 15 stanzas, we cite the litany of miracles God performed — “If He had brought us out of Egypt,” “If He had split the sea for us,” “If He had fed us manna” — each followed by grateful repetition of “dayenu.” For a people who love to complain, it’s a deeply meaningful expression of faith.

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American Jews always believed the U.S. was exceptional. We were wrong.

By Lila Corwin Berman
Courtesy: The Washington Post
Published November 1, 2018

I am a historian of American Jews. My morning last Saturday began with a bar mitzvah at our synagogue in Philadelphia; an hour into it, I left with my son to take him to a squash lesson at a private club. In my profession, we call this “the American-Jewish synthesis”: the ability to be Jewish and American all at once. Historians like me have spent decades explaining how and why Jews have been able to achieve this.

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Trump’s America is not a safe place for Jews

By Dana Milbank
Courtesy: The Washington Post
Published October 28, 2018

George Washington, in his 1790 letter to the Touro Synagogue in Newport, R.I., told Jews they would be safe in the new nation.

“The government of the United States . . . gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance,” he wrote. “May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants — while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.”

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Americans: wake up, please! Remember why we exist at all

By Jay Parini
Courtesy: CNN
Published October 27, 2018

The mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday is horrifying. Men, women and children at prayer should feel safe. Racist and anti-Semitic hatred should have no place anywhere in this country.

As we mourn the 11 dead and the injured others, including the law-enforcement officers who ran selflessly toward the gunfire, we are saddened but not surprised.

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America’s Fatal Shame

By David Frum
Courtesy: The Atlantic
Published October 27, 2018

Even in the age of Donald Trump, murderous anti-Semitism in the United States is a cause without leaders. There is plenty of coded anti-Semitism in the United States: Every Jew knows who you mean when you castigate “globalists.” But outright killing of Jews as Jews—you have to lurk in pretty dark corners to draw inspiration for that.

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George Washington and the Promise of Religious Freedom for All

By Ambassador John L. Loeb, Jr.
Courtesy: The Huffington Post
Published October 11, 2016

This week Jewish people around the nation will gather in houses of worship in every state to observe the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. While many may not be aware of it, Jews have enjoyed the freedom to worship in the United States since its inception.

Religious freedom in the new nation had no bigger champion than George Washington.

When Washington visited Newport on Aug. 18, 1790, among the dignitaries greeting him was Moses Seixas, the “warden” of the Touro congregation, who read a letter of welcome praising America’s embrace of religious liberty.

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Tim Kaine Visits Famed Touro Synagogue — Slams Donald Trump on Religious Freedom

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Courtesy: The Forward
Published August 18, 2016

Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine visited the historic Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, 226 years to the day after its leader read a letter to George Washington praising the new country’s support for religious liberty.

Kaine, on a campaign swing, wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday that “we stumbled on” the site, a landmark known as the country’s oldest synagogue.

When Washington visited Newport on Aug. 18, 1790, among the dignitaries greeting him was Moses Seixas, the “warden” of the Touro congregation, who read a letter of welcome praising America’s embrace of religious liberty.

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Join the Army and Choose Whichever God You Like

By Sarah Vowell
Courtesy: The New York Times
Published August 12, 2016

Every August, the oldest synagogue in the United States celebrates the fact that George Washington hated tolerance.

In 1790, a couple of months after Rhode Island became the last state to ratify the Constitution, Moses Seixas of Touro Synagogue in Newport wrote his president a nice note about what a relief it was to live in a republic “deeming every one, of whatever Nation, tongue, or language, equal parts of the great governmental Machine.”

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