George Washington’s Mount Vernon will host a special screening of the newly-produced educational film, George Washington and the Pursuit of Religious Freedom on July 28, 2022 at The Jane Pickens Theater and Event Center

Filmed largely in Newport in November 2021, this short film follows the establishment of religious freedom in America and George Washington’s precedent-setting letter to the Newport Touro Synagogue Congregation. This letter has tremendous historical significance in terms of reinforcing the fundamental ideal of religious liberty in America.

The screening will be followed by an expert panel conversation with Dr. Kevin Butterfield, Executive Director of the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon, and Dr. Christopher Grasso, Professor of History at Brown University. Butterfield and Grasso will discuss George Washington’s legacy, the role that the Newport Touro Synagogue played in securing the right to worship, and why this freedom remains as crucial today as it was at the time of the nation’s founding.

The screening and conversation will be held on Thursday, July 28, 2022, at 5:30 PM ET. Doors open at 5:00 PM ET.

Tracing the origins of our freedom of religion back to the settlers who came to America’s colonies to escape religious persecution in Europe, George Washington and the Pursuit of Religious Freedom follows the establishment of one of our most cherished rights from the founding through George Washington’s historic and precedent-setting letter to the Touro Synagogue congregation.

General admission tickets are available here. Additional screenings are planned for other cities across the nation. Sign up here for updates.

George Washington and the Pursuit of Religious Freedom is presented thanks to the generosity of Irving and Nancy Chase. Produced by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, the film is intended to be used in classrooms across the nation to foster a deep understanding of the legacy and importance of religious freedom in America, George Washington’s legacy in cementing religious liberties, and the role the oldest U.S. synagogue played in the freedom to worship. 

Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, is owned and maintained by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, the oldest national historic preservation organization in the United States. The estate is open to visitors and includes a Mansion, a museum and education center, gardens, tombs, a working farm, a functioning distillery and gristmill. It also includes the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington.