Segments in this Video

Washington, Seixas, and Giving Thanks: Introduction (03:43)


Rabbi Meir Soloveichik will discuss in this lecture the constitutional convention and how Jewish leadership, namely Gershom Mendes Seixas, participated in the inauguration of President George Washington. The Constitution divided the American revolutionaries but the Jewish Americans ardently supported the document.

Lecture V: Washington, Seixas, and Giving Thanks (07:47)

Although dedicated to American society, Rabbi Soloveichik, claims Jewish people must maintain a sense of separation from society as a whole. Soon after the ratification of the constitution, Elias Boudinot called for President Washington to proclaim a national day of thanksgiving.

Federalists, Anti-Federalists, and the Ratification Debate (03:04)

The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia transformed the colonies into an empire, but the anti-federalists and the federalists fought endlessly about the power which the President would wield. All religious tests were banned for federal office which is ensured by the constitution.

Jewish Patriots Celebrate the Constitution in Philadelphia (04:50)

Hear reading from two different recollections of a parade put on to celebrate Thanksgiving and the ratification of the American constitution. This parade was the first recorded instance of a kosher meal being prepared at any public event in history.

Jewish Patriots Rally for the Constitution (05:01)

After the constitution was ratified by all thirteen states at the time, Washington was then, of course elected as the first American President. The Jewish people of America had much to celebrate as they experienced true religious liberty under this administration.

Roger Sherman and the Debate Over Thanking God for the American Constitution (13:42)

Chancellor Robert Livingston sworn in Washington at the first American presidential inauguration; anti-federalists were still concerned about the president's powers despite congress. Thanksgiving was the first public holiday ordered by a president; Roger Sherman claims Thanksgiving Day is essentially America’s Hanukkah.

Jewish Patriots Celebrate America's First Thanksgiving (08:02)

Seixas, known as the Jewish patriot, was extremely excited to celebrate Thanksgiving and the ratification of the constitution. Rabbi Soloveichik discusses the original copy of Seixas’ sermon which is still on display in his church.

Washington, Seixas, and Giving Thanks: Conclusion (06:35)

Rabbi Soloveichik describes the different religious responses people had to the constitution and to Washington’s role as president. The Rabbi explains his idea that American society recognizes the two different aspects of human nature.

Credits: Washington, Seixas, and Giving Thanks (00:07)

Credits: Washington, Seixas, and Giving Thanks

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Washington, Seixas, and Giving Thanks

Part of the Series : The Founding Fathers and Insights Into Religious Freedom
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



This video lecture by Meir Soleveichik looks at the interactions between George Washington and Moses Seixas, warden of Newport's Touro Synagogue. It considers the concept that the United States was founded on the principle of religious liberty and how Seixas endeavored to ensure that it would apply to American Jews.

Length: 54 minutes

Item#: BVL145747

ISBN: 978-1-64347-018-4

Copyright date: ©2017

Closed Captioned

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