Photos by Lew Keen, courtesy of Touro Synagogue Foundation

Newport, RI – Touro Synagogue Foundation announces the once-a-year opportunity for the public to visit the Colonial Jewish Burying Ground, established in the 1670s to serve Newport’s early Hebrew congregation.  The cemetery is located up the hill from Touro Synagogue, at the intersection of Kay Street, Touro Street and Bellevue Avenue.

Cemetery gates will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., weather permitting. Guides will be on hand to answer questions and provide information. Visitors are required to wear masks and social distancing protocols will enforced.  A $5 donation per person is requested.

Immortalized in poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Emma Lazarus, the burying ground features an Egyptian revival gate and gravestones lettered in Hebrew, Latin, Spanish, Ladino, and English.  Visitors may see the graves of many members of Newport’s original Jewish community, including the resting place of Moses Seixas, author of the letter that welcomed President George Washington to Newport in 1790 and contained the famous words, “to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.”

Guests are also invited to visit the grounds of Touro Synagogue, a National Historic Site, and enjoy a 20-minute seated history presentation in the park, before or after visiting the cemetery.  The site is opened Sunday through Friday, from
11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., weather permitting.  Guests should enter the site through the courtyard of the Loeb Visitors Center at 52 Spring Street, between Touro and Barney Streets. There is no fee to enjoy the grounds and history presentation, but donations will be accepted.

Reservations are not necessary to visit the cemetery on August 16 nor the grounds of Touro Synagogue.  Because the synagogue and Loeb Visitors Center buildings remain closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, there are no on-site public bathroom facilities available.   Schedule updates may be found on the ‘Visit” page at tourosynagogue.org.  or on the Touro Synagogue Facebook page. For more information, please email tours@tourosynagogue.org or phone (401) 847-4794, extension 207.

Source: Touro Synagogue Foundation


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