Newport This Week

Virtual Lecture on Dec. 15

The Touro Synagogue Foundation has announced the first program of its Winter 2022 Judah Touro Program Series, which will address the topic of Jews and slavery in the American Colonial Era.

Dr. Paul Finkelman will present a talk virtually, via Zoom, titled “Jews, Slavery, and the Meaning of Freedom,” on Thursday, Dec. 15, at 6 p.m. There is no fee to participate, but reservations are required to receive the login information.

The history of Newport, which was founded upon the principles of religious freedom, is also the history of enslaved Africans who did not find freedom here. Many Newporters, including Jews, either owned slaves or participated in some aspect of the transatlantic plantation system, which was based on the slave trade and goods produced through the labor of enslaved Africans. Finkelman’s talk will address this central paradox of America, the coexistence of slavery and freedom. Finkelman is one of America’s most respected legal scholars and has published extensively on the history of slavery and on Jews in America. For reservations, visit For more information, contact Meryle Cawley at 401-847- 4794, x207, or email

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