Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt of the talk delivered Dec. 1 at the Touro Synagogue in Providence, R.I., marking the 250th year of its founding.
I am honored to be here to offer words on the 250th anniversary of the Touro Synagogue. As we celebrate this historic occasion, I want to take a moment to imagine what those first 15 Spanish and Portuguese Jewish families who came to Newport in 1658 would think if they could see us here today. For more than a century a small community of Newport Jews worshipped in rooms, in private homes before they could even afford to build a synagogue – this synagogue – which they dedicated on Dec. 2, 1763. The promise of that moment has been realized beyond anything those people standing right here 250 years ago could have possibly imagined. How blessed we are to be living in this moment.
Some synagogues have cancelled services ahead of a potentially historic blizzard.
At least synagogues in Providence, R.I., have called off Shabbat services this week in light of the expected severe weather. More than two feet are expected in Providence, one of the highest predicted snowfalls.
"Due to the impending blizzard all worship services have been canceled Friday, Saturday and Sunday," said a recorded message at Providence's Temple Beth-El on Friday afternoon.