Happy birthday, Touro Synagogue


Touro Synagogue /Touro SynagogueIn honor of its 250th anniversary, Touro Synagogue of Newport is proud to announce that there will be a re-dedication of the synagogue, on Sunday, December 1, the fourth day of Hanukkah.

The synagogue was dedicated on Hanukkah in 1763.

“Its almost 250 years to the day” said Rabbi Marc Mandel, the spiritual leader of Touro Synagogue, who is coordinating the event with Cliff Guller, the chairman of the program committee of the synagogue.

“Cliff and I studied the diaries of Ezra Stiles and, thanks to Stiles, we know exactly what took place at the original dedication in 1763,” said Rabbi Mandel.

Stiles, a minister who lived in Newport, was a close friend to the leaders of Touro Synagogue and later became President of Yale University.

The keynote speaker at the re-dedication will be Morris Offit, a Vice Chair of the UJC Board of Trustees; he also chairs the UJC Center for Jewish Philanthropy. He is the immediate past President of UJA-Federation of New York and he has been a generous supporter of the Touro Synagogue Foundation.

Judah Touro, son of Isaac Touro, was a major philanthropist and helped the synagogue and the city of Newport in numerous ways. “We hope people from all over Rhode Island will join us for this spiritual event,”  said Guller. “Touro Synagogue has a glorious history, but the focus of this event is the future of the Jewish people and what we need to do to insure Jewish continuity.”

There will be a Hanukkah party following the re-dedication. Although admission to the event is free and open to the public, reservations are required. To make a reservation: rsvp@tourosynagogue.org.