Where Is George Washington's Letter to U.S. Synagogue?

The letter written by the first American president to a Hebrew congregation in Rhode Island is one of the primary documents guaranteeing religious tolerance in America.

During a lecture in England last December, Jonathan Sarna, America’s foremost scholar of American Jewish history, said he did not know the whereabouts of one of American Jewry’s most important documents: George Washington’s letter to the Hebrew Congregation, in Newport, Rhode Island.

George Washington, Jews.
Steve Brosnahan, George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom

More than a vital piece of American Jewish history, the letter is one of the primary documents guaranteeing religious tolerance in America, its famous words still quoted by community leaders and politicians whenever they want to underline America’s commitment to religious liberty.

But where is the letter?

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