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The Minhag

 

Shearith Israel was established in 1654 by Jews who adhered to the Western Sephardic tradition as exemplified by the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam. Although the congregation has included Sephardim and Ashkenazim since its very inception, the Western Sephardic minhag (tradition/custom) has been maintained with singular devotion. This tradition is marked by a keen aesthetic sense, dignity and orderliness.

 

While the Congregation is a foremost representative of the Western Sephardic tradition, it has incorporated its own particular customs in a meaningful and organic way. Over the centuries, it has evolved a distinctive minhag that is its hallmark, and that has been a source of spiritual strength and joy to many generations of American Jews.

 

 

Benjamin N. Cardozo

Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Nathan Cardozo spoke of the need for the Congregation to maintain its historic traditions and to remain true to the customs and practices of the generations that had come before.

1895
West 11th Street Cemetery

The West Eleventh Street cemetery, the second historic cemetery of Congregation Shearith Israel, was consecrated on February 27, 1805.  

1805