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Old Synagogues



Paul Simon reports :"I get ten pages of Google hits asserting that the Truro Synagogue in Rhode Island is "the oldest synagogue in America". I was puzzled, since there is no place called Truro in Rhode Island. There is one on the tip of Cape Cod. So I googled after Paul and found out that Truro Synagogue is in Newport, Rhode Island. Being a credulous individual, I will accept the claim Paul reports, but I notice that most of the items about Rhode Island boast about the police force, which keeps crime to a minimum, the churches which welcome you, as do the stores, etc. I only hope that the claim is not fraudulent, like that of the Fountain of Youth in Florida. America here means the United States. As for the Americas, Paul reports "I also had a colleague recently back from Surinam who told tales of a recently uncovered lost Dutch Jewish settlement there from the 1600's."...John Wonder tells me not to forget US Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardoso in listing the Sephardic Jews who have distinguished themselves. Do not confuse him with the earlier Francis Cardoso, an educator,who established and administered a normal school for black youths in 1863, during the Civil War. He was from Charleston, South Carolina, mentioned by Cameron Sawyer. This search for antiquity is like coming on the "Mayflower". It means you descend from an ancient family. Sephardic Jews look down on Ashkenazi Jews as latecomers, the German Jews look down on the Jews from Eastern Europe. I look up to all good men, regardless of other considerations. Some of my best friends belong to all these groups.

Ronald Hilton - 4/5/02


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