Celebrating Independence ‘Jewish Style’

By Marc Tracy

Published June 30, 2006, issue of June 30, 2006.

Taking a page from the Shavuot playbook — when Jews commemorate the giving of the Torah by staying up all night to study it — a group of Philadelphia Jews is planning to spend the evening of July 3 studying the country’s founding documents: “America’s Torah.”

“We’re studying the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, Jewish style,” Catherine Fischer said. Fischer is the coordinator of the Kehillah of Center City, an interdenominational consortium of Philadelphia-area congregations.

The study session, led by University of Pennsylvania historian Michael Zuckerman, will take place at Congregation Mikveh Israel, a Spanish-Portuguese synagogue located just a block from the Liberty Bell. Founded in 1740, Mikveh Israel is often referred to as the “Synagogue of the Revolution.”

The event is geared toward those interested in “doing something meaningful on Independence Day as well as celebrating,” Fischer told the Forward. It runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., just before the fireworks.

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