Talks Over Oldest US Synagogue Fail

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Mediation has failed in lawsuits between the oldest US synagogue and the country’s first Jewish congregation over ownership issues.

Lawyers for the leaders of New York City’s Congregation Shearith Israel and Touro Synagogue in Rhode Island tell The Associated Press they were unable to agree during mediation overseen by a federal judge. The lawsuits will now move forward.

The dispute started after leaders at Touro agreed to sell a set of Colonial-era Torah finial bells for $7.4 million to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

Leaders of the New York congregation opposed the sale, saying it owns Touro and the bells.

The lawsuits center on who owns the synagogue, a National Historic Site that is visited by tens of thousands of people every year. Touro was established four years after Congregation Shearith Israel was established in 1654 in New York.

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Posted by on Friday, August 16th, 2013. Filed under Jewish News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.