Founded in 1763, this is the oldest synagogue in America. Its history represents the religious tolerance that has always characterized Rhode Island.

Facts & Stats on Touro Synagogue

Go Historic ID
Touro Synagogue
Congregation Jeshuat Israel

Visitor & Contact Information

85 Touro Street
Newport County, Rhode Island
(401) 847-4794

Essays on Touro Synagogue

History of Touro Synagogue

Newport's Jewish congregation was formed in the spring of 1658, when a party of 15 Jewish families arrived from the Caribbean, possibly Barbados or Curacao. They were fleeing religious persecution, just as their ancestors had done from Spain and Portugal.

They received a warm welcome in religiously tolerant Newport. A few years later (1663), the royal charter of Rhode Island formalized the established local practice that everyone has "full liberty in religious concernments." Newport's Jews thrived in the trade business and for over a century held services and ceremonies in each other's homes... view full text »

Resources for Touro Synagogue

  1. Official Website of Touro Synagogue Official website.

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About This Listing

Last Updated
February 4, 2015
First Published
October 8, 2013
Submitted by
Holly Hayes
Touro Synagogue - Newport County, Rhode Island