Touro Synagogue Foundation has announced the first program of its 2022 Judah Touro Program Series, to be presented virtually, via Zoom, on Thursday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m.

Professor Carla Pestana will present a lecture titled “Religious Freedom in early America: Newport’s colonial Jewish community in context.”  While Newport’s historic tradition of religious liberty is well known, many are not aware of what it meant when it became the town’s policy in the 17th century.

Professor Pestana will provide a broader and more accurate understanding of what religious freedom in the 1700s actually entailed, including where it originated, who was responsible for making it the town’s policy, the impact on attracting Jews to Newport, and its role in the broader colonial Atlantic world.

Carla Gardina Pestana, one of the leading historians of early American and English Atlantic history, is the author of numerous books including Protestant Empire: Religion and the Making of the English Atlantic World (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010). She holds the Joyce Appleby Endowed Chair of America in the World at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she is also Distinguished Professor and the History Department Chair.

There is no fee, but reservations are required to receive the Zoom login information. To reserve, please visit the Touro Synagogue website,, or use this link:

Please also “save the date” for the two Judah Touro Series events to follow, the evenings of Thursday, May 19 and Thursday, June 2, both of which will be presented via Zoom. Details to follow.

For more information or assistance with registration, please contact Meryle Cawley at (401) 847-4794, extension 207 or

Source: Touro Synagogue Foundation

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