Mikveh Israel
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Time Period
1740
Description
Congregation Mikveh Israel traces its roots to Jewish settlers who found a welcoming home in Pennsylvania, a colony known for its religious tolerance.

In 1740, Nathan Levy received permission from authorities in Philadelphia for a Jewish cemetery. Mikveh Israel regards that event as its official beginning.

After holding services in homes and rented space, the congregation built its first synagogue in 1782. Members of other faiths -- including Benjamin Franklin and William Bradford -- would later help pay off the construction loans.

As the Jewish population of Philadelphia grew, Mikveh Israel would move four more times. The congregation opened its current home at Independence Mall on July 4, 1976, America’s Bicentennial. It is known as "The Synagogue of the American Revolution" because its leaders signed protests against the Stamp Act, a major cause of the war for independence.

The synagogue still operates today.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Religious Minorities (Non-Christian)
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Religious Minorities (Non-Christian) in American History
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Timeline Entries for the same religious group Judaism Family
Judaism Family: Other ARDA Links

Photographs

Mikveh Israel synagogue, 1825- Hathi Trust- from Dedication of the New Synagogue of the Congregation Mikve Israel at Broad and York Streets on September 14, 1909

Congregation Mikveh Israel- Wikimedia Commons- photo by Beyond My Ken (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Mikveh Israel synagogue interior- Hathi Trust- from Dedication of the New Synagogue of the Congregation Mikve Israel at Broad and York Streets on September 14, 1909

Mikveh Israel cemetery- Flickr- photo by Cle0patra (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Mikveh Israel synagogue, 1909- Hathi Trust- from Dedication of the New Synagogue of the Congregation Mikve Israel at Broad and York Streets on September 14, 1909
Book/Journal Source(s)
Olitzky, Kerry M., and Marc Lee Raphael, 1996. The American Synagogue: A Historical Dictionary and Sourcebook. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Publishing Group.
Web Source(s)
http://www.mikvehisrael.org/e2_cms_display.php?p=past_our_history
Congregation Mikveh Israel website
Web Page Contributor
Sandi Dolbee
Affliated with: Former Religion and Ethics Editor, The San Diego Union-Tribune

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