The Touro Synagogue or Congregation Jeshuat Israel (Hebrew: קהל קדוש ישועת ישראל) is a synagogue built in 1763 in Newport, Rhode Island. It is the oldest synagogue building still standing in the United States, the only surviving synagogue building in the U.S. dating to the colonial era, and the oldest surviving Jewish synagogue building in North America. In 1946, it was declared a National Historic Site.Before you head to Newport, plan trip itinerary details with our user-friendly Newport travel planner, to make sure you see all that Newport has to offer, including Touro Synagogue.
The first congregation was made up of Sephardic Jews, who are believed to have come via the West Indies, where they participated in the triangular trade along with Dutch and English settlements. They practiced a Spanish and Portuguese Jewish liturgy and ritual. In the late eighteenth century, when warfare threatened, the congregation transferred the deed and Torah scrolls to Congregation Shearith Israel in New York for safekeeping. Since the late 19th century, the congregants have been primarily Ashkenazi.
In 2012 the two congregations went to court to try to resolve which owned the synagogue and its contents, as the Newport congregation wanted to sell some items to raise money for restoration of the building. In 2017 the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that the New York congregation owned it; as the US Supreme Court declined to hear the case, this ruling stands.
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Touro Synagogue reviews
The guides for the museum are amazing. Fantastic. Learned not just about the synagogue but about the history of Newport. Put this on your list if you are a history buff. It's a wonderful tour.
The guides for the museum are amazing. Fantastic. Learned not just about the synagogue but about the history of Newport. Put this on your list if you are a history buff. It's a wonderful tour. more »
My wife and I had the pleasure of touring the synagogue during our recent cruise stop in Newport. The synagogue is a little small but is very beautiful inside. I was reminded of the small chapel of.... more
My wife and I had the pleasure of touring the synagogue during our recent cruise stop in Newport. The synagogue is a little small but is very beautiful inside. I was reminded of the small chapel of.... more »
It's the oldest synagogue in the United States. Will sign up for the tour next time go visit.
This was a really cool experience. It's the oldest synagogue in the United States with a nice history behind it. The tour guide was very nice. She talked about the history of the Jewish community in Newport and the history of the city, I learned a bunch of new things. Very meaningful for my kids.
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