Historical Photograph
View all photos of Touro Synagogue »
View larger aerial map of Touro Synagogue »

Quick Facts

Go Historic ID
Touro Synagogue
Congregation Jeshuat Israel
41.489437° N, 71.311950° W
main dates
1763 constructed
85 Touro Street
(401) 847-4794

Timeline of Touro Synagogue

Essays on Touro Synagogue

  • History

    by Holly Hayes
    October 27, 2011

    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. They named it after Isaac Touro, a prominent member of the congregation. Harrison was an Anglican and had never seen a synagogue in his life, so the congregation showed him sketches of the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam. continue reading →

  • Overview

    by Holly Hayes
    October 27, 2011

    The Georgian-style architecture of Touro Synagogue was based on the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam and later influenced Thomas Jefferson's design of Monticello and the University of Virginia. It has a simple square plan, with two tiers of round-headed windows and a narrow porch. The synagogue is aligned so the congregation faces east to Jerusalem, requiring to be placed at an angle on its lot. Inside, the furnishings of Touro Synagogue revolve around the number twelve, representing the Twelve Tribes of Israel. continue reading →

Blog Posts on Touro Synagogue

Bibliography of Touro Synagogue

  1. Official Website of Touro Synagogue. Web. Official website.

Article Info

Submitted by
Holly Hayes
October 8, 2013
Last updated
July 11, 2014

Historic Places Near Touro Synagogue

Historic Lodging Near Touro Synagogue