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Gershom Mendes Seixas

1768

Gershom Mendes Seixas (1745-1816) was the first American-born spiritual leader of Shearith Israel, having been raised and educated in our community. He began service as Hazan in 1768, and quickly showed himself to be an adept synagogue functionary, beloved by the Congregation. When British troops took control of New York City in 1776, Rev. Seixas and many congregants fled New York rather than live under British rule. He became Hazan at Mikveh Israel in Philadelphia through the war years. In 1784, he returned to New York to continue his service to Shearith Israel as Hazan, mohel, and communal leader. Aside from his many responsibilities as the religious head of New York’s Jewish community, he was active in a wide range of civic organizations. He was a Trustee of the Humane Society; a member of the Board of Regents of the University of New York; and a regent and Trustee of Columbia College. In 1943, the Jewish Studies Society of Columbia University became known as the Seixas Society. 

Hebrew School History

In 1802, Meir Polonies donated $900 to fund our Hebrew School

1731
Beth Olam Cemetery

Beth Olam Cemetery in Ridgewood, Queens has provided for the burials of our congregation since 1851 and will continue to do so for many years to come.

1851