First Mill Street

The little synagogue on Mill Street was consecrated on the seventh day of Passover, April 8, 1730. It was the first structure designed and built to be a synagogue in continental North America. Although Jews had settled in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1658, there were apparently no Jews living there in 1730. At the time the town of New York had the only Jewish community in the country. It was still early in the history even of the Atlantic coast states of Colonial America. Plans were being laid out for a city to be called Baltimore. Three years later, in 1733, Jews arrived with the earliest settlers in Savannah, Georgia. It was not until some two decades later that there were the beginnings of organized Jewish settlement in Philadelphia, Lancaster, and Charleston.