Your Account: Login or Register

Congregational History

Congregation Shearith Israel, the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, was founded in 1654, the first Jewish congregation to be established in North America.

Objects

Our links to the past are made tangible by our everyday use and display of ritual treasures and historic relics.

People

Members of Shearith Israel left their mark on history, both in terms of their contributions to the congregation and in terms of their contributions to the civic life of New York and America.

Synagogue Buildings

Over the centuries Congregation Shearith Israel has been housed in five different synagogue buildings and established at least four cemeteries.

Cemeteries

Shearith Israel's cemeteries are critical to the preservation and transmission of our congregational story.  Three historic and one active cemetery are maintained by the congregation and each has a tale to tell.

Maud Nathan

Maud Nathan (1862-1946) was founder and first President of the Sisterhood of Shearith Israel, established in 1896.  

1896
Emma Lazaraus

Emma Lazarus is best known for her famous poem, “The New Colossus,” inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty. 

1883