In 1790 George Washington wrote a letter to the Jewish congregation in Newport, Rhode Island in which he spoke of religious tolerance and good wishes to the community. Join us for a panel discussion on this famous letter and the greater context of early Judeo-American history. Dr. Louise Mirrer will speak about “The Spanish Roots of Colonial American Jewry," Professor Sarna about "George Washington's correspondence with the Jews of Newport: Its background, meaning and larger significance," and Rabbi Dr. Soloveichik on "Washington's Letter and Religious Freedom in America: Yesteryear and Today."Q&A to follow. Free admission. For more information, please call (212) 873-0300 x208.
Louise Mirrer joined the New-York Historical Society as President and CEO in June 2004. Under her guidance, New-York Historical is reinvigorating its commitment to foster greater public understanding of history and its impact on the world of today, to support and encourage historical scholarship, and to develop education initiatives for young people, students and adults. Professor Jonathan Sarna is the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University. Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik is the Director of Yeshiva University’s Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought.
Congregation Shearith Israel: The Spanish Portuguese Synagogue. America’s First Jewish Congregation, est. 1654. Central Park West at 2 West 70th St