HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW
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Longfellow and the Jewish Cemetery at Newport

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Interior of the Synagogue Today

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Interior of the Synagogue Today / Maine Historical Society

<em>Gone are the living, but the dead remain,
And not neglected; for a hand unseen,
Scattering its bounty, like a summer rain,
Still keeps their graves and their remembrance green. </em>

Although substantial funding for construction of the Touro Synagogue came from other Jewish communities outside Newport, members of the local congregation paid for much of the project, and donated many beautiful sacred objects and artworks to the synagogue.

Although Longfellow didn't write of them (and may not even have known they existed), the interior of the synagogue was originally decorated with beautiful chandeliers, candlesticks, and artwork, most of which can still be viewed today. At the time of his visit to the cemetery, however, these were dispersed to other synagogues for safekeeping.

The synagogue itself was maintained by caretakers from the Gould family, paid for from the trust established by Abraham and Judah Touro.

(Photo thanks to Dr. James L. Yarnall)

 

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