Touro Synagogue in Newport Rhode Island is a National Historic Landmark and the oldest Synagogue in America

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Touro Synagogue National Historic Site


Designed by Peter Harrison (architect of the Athenaeum and King's Chapel, Boston), this synagogue is the finest example of 18th-century Georgian architecture in Newport. Its large glass windows illuminate an interior that treads the line between austere and lavish. Built by the nascent Sephardic Orthodox Congregation Yeshuat Israel in 1763, it has the distinction of being North America's oldest synagogue.

Inside, a letter to the congregation from President George Washington, written in 1790, hangs in a prominent spot. There's a historic cemetery just up the street. The synagogue opens for worship only on Saturday.

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