Historic correspondence by President George Washington to a Jewish congregation in Rhode Island is the centerpiece of an exhibit in Philadelphia this summer.
The National Museum of American Jewish History said Thursday the privately owned 337-word letter is arguably the most important document in American Jewish history. The museum says the letter was written by Washington to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, R.I., in August 1790.
Washington's letter is addressed to "the children of the stock of Abraham." It describes his vow for a government that "gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance."
The exhibit opens July Fourth weekend. It also will include Washington's correspondence to Quakers and other Jewish congregations and a Gilbert Stuart portrait of the president from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.