In the 1650's, fifteen families from Barbados became the first Jewish families in Newport. Like so many other Caribbean families they were descended from families who came from Amsterdam and London and had found new homes in places such as Suriname, Jamaica, Barbados and Curacao. They quickly formed "Yeshuat Israel" the second oldest Jewish congregation in the United States. The congregation prospered and grew, until such time that they built what is today "America's Oldest Synagogue", the Touro Synagogue which was dedicated in 1763. On December 1st of this year, the synagogue will be re-dedicated as part of its 250th birthday celebration.
The incredible history of this treasure can be found at tourosynagogue.org.