Judge: Congregants Can Take Control Of Oldest US Shul


The kehillah at the oldest shul in the United States prevailed yesterday in a bitter legal fight that threatened its existence, as a federal judge ruled it may now control its own destiny and decide what to do with a set of ceremonial bells worth millions, the AP reports.

The lawsuit pitted congregants at the 250-year-old Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, against the nation’s oldest Jewish congregation, Shearith Israel in New York City.

U.S. District Judge Jack McConnell on Monday awarded Congregation Jeshuat Israel, of Newport, control of Touro, rejecting arguments from Congregation Shearith Israel that it is the shul’s rightful owner.

Read more at The Boston Herald.




  1. I hope a chefetz shel mitzvah doesn’t end up being sold to be displayed in a secular museum as a “religious artifact”. Abie Rotenberg’s song “Place Where I Belong” really fits this story.


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