Tonight's Touro talk to shine spotlight on 18th, 19th-century U.S. synagogues


NEWPORT – The second program in the Touro Synagogue Foundation’s 2022 Judah Touro Program Series will feature Mark W. Gordon’s virtual talk, “Rediscovering Jewish Infrastructure: Showcasing Surviving Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Synagogues in America,” on May 19.

The illustrated lecture is based on three articles Gordon has written for American Jewish History, the journal of the American Jewish Historical Society.

Gordon’s research and urban exploration revealed that a surprising number of early synagogues survive, many through adaptive reuse. His work also underscores the importance of preserving and interpreting Touro Synagogue, America’s oldest extant synagogue (1763).

The May 19 program will feature a number of historic synagogues, including the Prince Street Synagogue (Congregation Oheb Shalom), in Newark, New Jersey. Gordon spearheaded the preservation and adaptive reuse of the synagogue, which was built in 1884.

The program will be held on Thursday, May 19, at 7:30 p.m. There is no fee, but reservations are required to receive the Zoom login information. To make a reservation, visit the “Events” page at, or use this link:

Please also “save the date” for the next talk in the series, the evening of Thursday, June 2, via Zoom. Details to follow.

For more information or assistance with registration, contact Meryle Cawley at 401-847-4794, ext. 207, or

The Touro Synagogue, a National Historic Site, has re-opened five days a week for the 2022 season. History presentations will once again take place inside the synagogue building, which had been closed for two years due to COVID restrictions.

The Touro Synagogue Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, nonsectarian organization dedicated to promoting and teaching religious diversity, colonial Jewish history and the history of Touro Synagogue.

For more information about the Touro Synagogue Foundation, go to

Submitted by the Touro Synagogue Foundation