Reading of the George Washington Letter

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg talked about her fellow Jewish members of the Supreme Court - Louis Brandeis, Benjamin Cardozo,… read more

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg talked about her fellow Jewish members of the Supreme Court - Louis Brandeis, Benjamin Cardozo, Felix Frankfurter, Arthur Goldberg, Abe Fortas, and Stephen Breyer.

Justice Ginsburg’s speech was the keynote event as members of Newport, Rhode Island’s Touro Synagogue read a landmark letter on religious liberty sent to the Touro congregation in 1790 by President George Washington. That year President Washington visited Newport, about a year and a half prior to the ratification of the Bill of Rights. In response to a letter from Touro’s Moses Seixas, welcoming Washington to the city and at the same time seeking an assurance of religious freedom, Washington wrote that the new U.S. government “gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.”

Touro’s Washington letter reading this year coincides with wider events marking 350 years of Jewish life in America. The first Jews in colonial America landed at New York Harbor in 1654; Newport’s first Jewish congregation arrived in 1658. Touro Synagogue is the oldest Jewish house of worship in the United States. close

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*The transcript for this program was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.

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Reading of the George Washington Letter

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Program ID:
183449-1
Category:
Public Affairs Event
Format:
Speech
Location:
Newport, Rhode Island, United States
First Aired:
Sep 11, 2004
Last Aired:
Sep 12, 2004

Airing Details

  • Sep 11, 2004 | 7:04pm EDT | C-SPAN 1
  • Sep 12, 2004 | 2:17am EDT | C-SPAN 1
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