A federal judge ruled on Monday, May 16th that Touro Synagogue will remain in the care of Jeshuat Israel, their Newport keepers.
The Providence Journal reports “U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell Jr. declared Newport’s Congregation Jeshuat Israel the rightful caretaker of Touro Synagogue and its religious artifacts. In doing so, McConnell named Congregation Jeshuat trustee of the historic synagogue and removed New York City’s Congregation Shearith Israel from that role, saying it strayed from its obligation to ensure public Jewish worship at Touro Synagogue and as such is unfit to be its keeper.”
Congregation Shearith Israel – The Spanish And Portuguese Synagogue and Touro Synagogue headed to court to determine who was in control of the synagogue, its belongings and its future after the Newport congregation had agreed to sell 2 sets of bells to Museum Of Fine Arts in Boston for more than $7 million back in 2011.
Both parties had believed they were the owners of the bells, as well as responsible for the Touro Synagogue.
Touro Synagogue, dedicated in 1763, is the oldest synagogue building in the United States and is considered one of the ten most architecturally distinguished buildings of 18th century America and the most historically significant Jewish building in the United States.
This story will be updated when/if more information is received.
What Others Are Saying
- Boston Herald – Judge: Congregants can take control of oldest US synagogue
- Providence Journal – Federal judge awards control of Touro Synagogue to Newport congregation
- Albany Times Union – Judge: Congregants can take control of oldest US synagogue