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Event Introduction Type
Congregation Rodeph Shalom The first Ashkenazic congregation in the Western Hemisphere, Rodeph Shalom, was founded in Philadelphia in 1795.
George Washington's Letter to Touro Synagogue President George Washington's 1790 letter to Jews in Rhode Island is widely regarded as his most emphatic endorsement of religious liberty and acceptance.
Hebrew Union College Hebrew Union College, the oldest center of Jewish higher education in America, was founded in 1875 with its first campus in Cincinnati.
Jewish Theological Seminary of America The Jewish Theological Seminary, founded in New York in 1886, is the educational center of Conservative Judaism.
Mikveh Israel Mikveh Israel in Philadelphia began as a Jewish cemetery (1740) but later became a synagogue (1782), one of the earliest existing Jewish synagogues in America.
Rebecca Gratz Founds First Hebrew Sunday School Under Rebecca Gratz's oversight, the first free Hebrew Sunday school opened in Philadelphia in 1838.
Sally Priesand Becomes First Female Rabbi On June 3, 1972, Sally Priesand became the first female rabbi ordained in America -- and the first woman in Judaism to earn seminary ordination.
Touro Synagogue Touro Synagogue was dedicated in 1763 in Newport, R.I. It is the oldest dedicated synagogue in America.
World Parliament of Religions In 1893, the World's Parliament of Religions in Chicago introduced many non-Christian faiths to America -- including Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Jainism, Shinto and Taoism.


Name Introduction
Ginzberg, Louis Judaic scholar and writer Louis Ginzberg (1873-1953) trained two generations of Conservative rabbis over 50 years at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.
Heschel, Abraham Joshua Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972) was an important Jewish theologian and social activist in the 20th century.
Hirsch, Emil Rabbi Emil G. Hirsch (1851-1923) was considered one of the great minds of Reform Judaism during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Schneerson, Menachem Rabbi Menachem Schneerson (1902-1994) was a revered leader of the Lubavitch movement of Hasidic Judaism, building it into a prominent force within Orthodoxy.
Soloveitchik , Joseph B. Rabbi Joseph Ber Soloveitchik (1903-1993), the leading figure of the Modern Orthodox Judaism in America, sought to unite traditionalism with contemporary thought.


Movement Introduction
Reconstructionist Judaism Founded in the mid-1930s by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, Reconstructionist Judaism became the first uniquely American Jewish movement.
Zionism Beginning in the late 19th century, Zionism gained attention as a political movement seeking the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland.

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