Touro Synagogue Turns 250 With ‘Order and Decorum'

Oldest U.S. Shul Marks Major Milestone in Newport

On the Block: A 1790 reprint of Moses Seixas’s letter to George Washington will be auctioned on December 10.
Forward Montage
On the Block: A 1790 reprint of Moses Seixas’s letter to George Washington will be auctioned on December 10.

By Paul Berger

Published November 29, 2013, issue of December 06, 2013.
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Stiles studied Hebrew under Touro and had a great interest in Newport’s Jewish community.

According to Stiles’s diary, Touro told him that one of the synagogue’s Torah scrolls was donated to the congregation by its brethren in Amsterdam and was 200 years old.

Bert Lippincott, a reference librarian at Newport Historical Society, said that Stiles was “a classical scholar, diarist and cartographer who recorded and illustrated all local events where he lived.”

“Stiles later served as president of Yale College, and allegedly is responsible for the Hebrew motto in the college seal,” Lippincott added.

Contact Paul Berger at berger@forward.com or on Twitter, @pdberger


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