1492-1695 | 1700s | 1800s | 1900s | 2000s
Year World Events American Jewish Events American Events


Jewish population of America numbers between 200 and 300




A plan of the city of New York, 1755

America's first synagogue, Shearith Israel (The Remnant of Israel) is built on Mill Street in Lower Manhattan



Jews settle in Savannah, Georgia





England grants naturalization rights to Jews living in the colonies



Jews Synagogue in Charleston by John Rubens Smith, ca. 1813.

Congregation Beth Elohim (The House of God) is founded in Charleston, South Carolina



The Ba'al Shem Tov, founder of Hasidism, dies





The first liturgy for the Evening Services for Rosh-Hashanah and Yom Kippur are published in New York




Old Jewish Synagogue. Newport.

The synagogue building of Congregation Jeshuat Israel of Newport, Rhode Island, (later known as the Touro Synagogue), the oldest synagogue building still in use in America, is dedicated




The Bloody Massacre, sketch by Paul Revere, 1770.

Boston Massacre




Boston Tea Party by Daniel Berger, 1784.

Boston Tea Party



Francis Salvador, the first Jew to hold elective office in America, is elected to the South Carolina Provincial Congress

Paul Revere rides to alert fellow colonists that the British are coming



Jewish population: between 1,000 and 2,500 (.04-.10 percent of the total population)

Declaration of Independence is adopted, proclaiming "all men are created equal"



Jews are permitted to hold federal office

U.S. Constitution is ratified

1789 The French Revolution by Currier & Ives, ca. 1848.

French Revolution

Gershom Mendes Seixas, prayer leader of New York's Jewish congregation, is invited to Washington's inaugural

George Washington is inaugurated president

1790 Moses Swixa's letter to George Washington

George Washington replies to Moses Seixas's letter on behalf of the Newport Hebrew Congregation using the off-quoted phrase that the United States government "gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance"



France grants Jews privileges of full citizens

Tsarist Russia confines Jews to Pale of Settlement, an area roughly between the Black and Baltic seas

Federal Hall by Amos Doolittle, 1790.

States ratify Bill of Rights, including First Amendment guarantee that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"




Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin


Rosetta Stone is found in Egypt



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1492-1695 | 1700s | 1800s | 1900s | 2000s