Loeb Visitors CenterTouro Synagogue National Historic Site, Newport, RI

News

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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