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The First American Jew A Tribute to Gershom Mendes Seixas “Patriot Rabbi of the Revolution”

Howard A. Berman
Spring 2007

A major focus of the interests and commitments of the American Council for Judaism is the celebration of the distinctive significance of the Jewish historical experience in our country. As we express it in the Council’s Statement of Principles,  
“We affirm and celebrate the unique experience of Judaism in the United States. Our Hebrew Bible’s ideals of liberty and justice have shaped American democracy from its earliest beginnings. Inspired by our tradition, and responding to its ethical and social values, Jews have played a vital role in the founding and building of America. We cherish this noble heritage, and are committed to the exercise of our rights and responsibilities as proud and loyal citizens of this nation.”  
There are many individuals who stand out as prominent figures in this colorful and inspiring heritage. Unfortunately, in the popular perception, the focus tends to be on the latter stages of the nineteenth century, when the massive immigration of Jews from Eastern Europe shaped the cultural milieu of contemporary American Jewish life. However, the epic story of American Judaism extends far back into the earliest days of the Colonial period, beginning with the arrival of the first permanent Jewish settlers in New Amsterdam in 1654. Interestingly enough, Manhattan, while the first Jewish community to be established in the colonies, did not immediately emerge as the largest and most important center of Jewish life that it later came to be. The congregation that was established three years later in Newport, Rhode Island, initially achieved greater prominence and influence in its local environment than the New York synagogue, Shearith Israel, was able to aspire to for more than a century. The Jewish communities that arose in the major cities of the South were also larger and more prosperous through the Revolutionary era than New York Jewry was. In fact, if one wanted to visit the largest and most active center of Jewish life in the British colonies on the eve of Independence, their destination would have been Charleston, South Carolina rather than what was to become the “Big Apple!”  
First Major Religious Leader  
New York’s destined preeminence however was indeed foreshadowed by the influence of one individual who was to become the first major religious leader in American Jewish life. Ironically, his name remains little known outside of academic circles and the people of Manhattan’s Congregation Shearith Israel, “The Spanish-Portuguese Synagogue,” who proudly preserve their Sephardic heritage and the historical memory of his spiritual leadership. A particularly conscientious Religious School pupil is more likely to recall the name of Haym Salomon, the Polish-born Philadelphia financier who gave substantial support to the Continental cause…but only the most attentive student of American Jewish history is likely to remember the colorful and inspiring story of Gershom Mendes Seixas, “the Patriot Rabbi of the Revolution.” It is unfortunate that this should be so, since in many ways, Seixas’ life and accomplishments exemplify the most characteristic ideals of our American heritage, and intersect with the major events and personalities of our nation’s founding. Amazingly, there has never been a full-length scholarly biography of America’s first rabbi, while numerous studies of “heroes” of lesser significance — such as Salomon — have been published. Perhaps this brief profile and tribute might become the foundation for such an effort.  
Seixas (the Sephardic family name is pronounced “Say’-shus”) was born in New York City on January 14, 1746. This fact alone is of great significance, in that he was one of the first generation of native-born American Jews — the children of Spanish and Portuguese refugees who arrived in the colonies in the mid-17th century, primarily from Amsterdam and London. They were descended from the illustrious Jewish community of Spain, expelled by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492. Gershom was one of seven children of Isaac Seixas, a London-born merchant descended from Portuguese Marranos, “secret Jews” who had fled the Inquisition. Isaac came to New York in 1730, and a decade later married Rachel Levy, the daughter of one of colonial New York’s most prominent merchant families. Her father Moses was an officer of Congregation Shearith Israel, which was then already a century old and the center of the Jewish community’s spiritual and social life.  
Amalgam of Two Traditions  
Yet another historic distinction emerges from the fact that the Levy’s were actually Ashkenazic Jews of German background, and the amalgam of the two major cultural traditions of European Jewish life that this “intermarriage” represented was, at the time, highly unusual. The Seixas family’s leadership in the elite Sephardic community, combined with their use of Yiddish in familial communication, symbolized the blending — and eventually the diminishing of distinctions — between the two cultures, that was to become a unique characteristic that distinguished American Jewry from the more socially stratified Jewish communities of the Old World. In the affluent and cultured Seixas home, these two strands of Jewish tradition were combined with the influence of the broader Anglo-American environment of colonial New York life, and seemed to inspire a rich family tradition of accomplishment and leadership. The other children of the family were also to attain great distinction. Gershom’s older brother Moses was to become a Founder of the Bank of Rhode Island, and President of Newport’s famous Touro Synagogue, presenting the welcome address to George Washington during the First President’s visit in 1790. A younger brother, Abraham, settled in Charleston, and became Captain in the South Carolina militia during the Revolution, and another, Benjamin, was one of the founders of the New York Stock Exchange. The descendents of the family continued to make major contributions to American life, culminating with Benjamin N. Cardozo, famed Justice of the United States Supreme Court.  
The Seixas and Levy families were thus among the successful bankers and merchants who characterized elite Jewish society in the colonies at that time. It is all the more significant that young Gershom was to choose a very different path for this life, and early on decided to pursue the calling of religious leadership in the community. To appreciate the meaning of this ambition — and the unprecedented nature of such a commitment in pre-Revolutionary America — one must remember that there were no more than 2000 Jews scattered throughout the thirteen British Colonies by 1776, with only about 100 in the New York congregation. While there were also flourishing and established synagogues in Newport, Philadelphia, Richmond, Charleston and Savannah, none of them had an ordained rabbi — and were led in worship primarily by lay cantors, known by the title “Hazzan.” There were certainly no resources or facilities for any other than the most elementary Jewish study. And yet, with no professional role-model, and little formal training, this young man of wealth and privilege was determined to serve his faith and people in the sacred calling. Most of Seixas’ religious education was self-taught. He attended Shearith Israel’s “Talmud Torah” parochial school as a boy, and studied Hebrew texts with the Hazzan, Joseph Pinto. His most intense exposure to Jewish liturgy and tradition probably came from his regular attendance at synagogue worship. He learned what he could from the few books then available in English on Jewish thought and history, but also read extensively in general philosophy, history and classics. His writings reflect a grounding in the ideals of the Enlightenment, as well as the writings of contemporary Christian theologians.  
“Hazzan” Seixas  
Most interestingly, there is evidence that he undertook a correspondence course of study with the rabbis of Shearith Israel’s mother Sephardic congregation in London, the famous Bevis Marks Synagogue. He eventually achieved the competence to serve as a cantor, shochet (ritual slaughterer of kosher meat), and mohel (ritual circumciser). In the summer of 1768, at the age of 22, Gershom Seixas, the first native son of the congregation to prepare for religious service, presented himself to the leaders of Shearith Israel as a candidate for the position of “minister,” according to British Jewish usage, with the title Hazzan. Without formal training at an established seminary or Yeshivah, Seixas was never fully ordained as a rabbi. In fact, well into the 19th century, most of the spiritual leaders, usually called “ministers,” of American synagogues were actually not formally ordained. However, as we shall see, Seixas single-handedly created the model and standards of what would eventually become the accepted role of the rabbi in America. The Trustees of Shearith Israel were justly proud that one of their own had sons had achieved such distinction, and on July 3, 1768, they unanimously appointed Seixas as Hazzan. He was licensed by the New York State Legislature as a “Minister of Religion,” with legal authorization to perform all clergy functions such as marriages and funerals.  
As the only recognized religious leader serving in a rabbinic/pastoral capacity in the entire Northeast at that time, Seixas was called upon to minister to the spiritual needs of far flung Jewish households and communities. In addition to leading worship at the New York synagogue, supervising and teaching in its parochial day school, and attending to the needs of his people, he often traveled to perform weddings and circumcisions throughout New York State, Connecticut and Massachusetts, as well as Pennsylvania and even Canada. As respected as he quickly became by the community however, it seems that his own father could not quite adjust to the idea of his son’s suddenly exalted position. A year after his appointment to the pulpit of Shearith Israel, Seixas was called to perform a wedding for the famous Gratz family in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. His father Isaac had misgivings about his single, 23 year old son traveling alone so far from home, and sent along a letter addressed to the bride’s father:  
“Permit me Sir to recommend my son to your particular notice. He has never been so far from home, and if you find anything amiss in his behavior, impute it favourably to his want of experience, and kindly admonish him for it.”  
Challenges of Congregational Leadership  
Paternal over-protectiveness was not the only challenge that the young hazzan faced. In common with many clergymen of other denominations in early America, there were occasional disputes with the congregation’s leaders over salary. In 1768, Shearith Israel set his initial compensation at £140 annually, plus three cords of firewood, and five pounds of Matzo for Passover! When he eventually married, and raised a family of 16 children, there were periodic struggles for more generous payment for his services. His limited Hebrew education also remained a concern for some of the more observant and knowledgeable members of the synagogue, who constantly demanded that the young hazzan study to improve his rabbinic credentials. Perhaps as an impetus to this, the Trustees directed that a fine of 5 shillings be imposed on Seixas for every error discovered by a member during the Hebrew chanting of the Torah reading each Sabbath. We can assume that this had a double benefit — inspiring conscientious preparation by the hazzan, and particularly attentive listening to the Torah by the congregation!  
Despite these challenges to his authority, the young Seixas’ stature and influence steadily grew, both in the congregation and the broader community. He brought his energy and creativity to building Shearith Israel’s activities and service to its membership. He organized two charitable societies v the Hevra Hased Va-Amet for the proper burial of the dead, and a general aid fund for impoverished families called, in the stylistic parlance of the day, “The Society for the Collection of Charity Given Secretly.” These communal projects, combined with his regular liturgical, teaching and pastoral duties, and his travels to outlying areas helped to assure his growing popularity and profile. In 1775, he married Elkalah Cohen, a member of Shearith Israel, and their first son was born a year later.  
It was in the midst of this busy life that the unfolding drama of history was to transform Gershom Seixas’ life and work. Like most Jews in the colonies, who had come to these shores seeking religious freedom, he had long been a supporter of the Patriot cause. However, he also shared the hope of many religious leaders that a violent break with Britain could be averted. On May 17, 1776, when hostilities seemed inevitable, a Day of Fasting was called by the clergy of New York City. Seixas led his congregation in prayer:  
“O Heavenly Father, we beseech Thee that Thou might put it in the heart of our Sovereign Lord George III, and in the hearts of his Counsellors, Princes and Servants, to turn away from their fierce wrath against our countrymen, and that there may be no blood shed in this land. That Thou mayest once more plant an everlasting peace between Great Britain and her colonies as in former times.”  
Declaration of Independence  
That prayer was not to be fulfilled, and little more than a month later, the Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence. Seixas and most of the members of Shearith Israel, joined the majority of Jews throughout the colonies in casting their lot with the cause for Independence. When, within weeks of the Declaration, the British forces occupied New York City, the hazzan and most of his people knew that they would have to flee along with other known patriots. In August, 1776, on the Sabbath preceding the ancient Fast Day of Tisha B’Av , which commemorated the Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, a Farewell Service was held at the Mill Street Synagogue. Hazzan Seixas led the congregation in prayer for General Washington and the Congress, and the hope that God would keep them safe and protect them wherever they would be scattered. He then gathered the sacred books and objects from the sanctuary, removed the Scrolls of the Torah from the Holy Ark, and left his native city with many of Shearith Israel’s families. They settled first in Stratford, Connecticut, where they lived in exile for four years, and then, in 1780, the group moved on to Philadelphia. There, Seixas was elected Hazzan of Congregation Mikveh Israel, whose membership had swelled with Jewish families seeking refuge in the nation’s first capital. It was during his leadership in Philadelphia, that the congregation dedicated its new synagogue, to which many prominent civic leaders contributed funds, including Benjamin Franklin. During the Dedication Ceremony, Seixas offered a fervent prayer for peace and reconciliation, but also a firm expression of devotion to  
“The Honourable Delegates of the United States of America, in Congress in this City assembled; and His Excellency George Washington, Captain-General and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal army of these States…”  
Full Equality and Immunities  
In 1783, as Pennsylvania was debating amendments to its new State Constitution, Seixas was part of a commission of leading Jewish citizens who petitioned the Legislature, demanding full equality and immunities under the new government, and protesting the discriminatory clauses in current laws that restricted the civil rights of non-Protestants, requiring those holding public office in Pennsylvania to swear belief in the Divine authority of the New Testament. Seixas helped to draft the formal protest, and for the first time, in the public records and reports of this civil action, he is referred to as Rabbi Gershom Seixas. The Philadelphia congregation recognized the strength of his spiritual and communal leadership, and had begun referring to their hazzan with the honorific title. From then on, he was widely addressed with the rabbinic title, or as “Reverend Mr.” both in the Jewish community and by Christian colleagues and civic authorities.  
In 1784, with the evacuation of the British from New York, Seixas brought his family and Shearith Israel flock who had been with him in Philadelphia, back to their home city. That summer, the Mill Street Synagogue was reopened for worship, after having been used intermittently by the handful of loyalist members who remained during the War — joined by Hessian Jewish soldiers stationed in the city. The rabbi devoted himself to the rebuilding of the congregation and its communal life, reestablishing its school, cemetery, and charitable committees. But his stature and leadership in the Jewish and general community had greatly increased over the years of his patriotic exile and official representation of the Jewish presence in the wartime capital of Philadelphia, where he came to be known by many of the leading political and cultural figures in the nation. He emerged as both the spiritual leader and the public face of New York Jewry, and personally shaped a rabbinic role that was both unprecedented in Europe, and was to become the model for the American rabbinate from that point onward. This involved functions that had been unknown in traditional Jewish religious leadership — serving as an “ambassador” to the broader society of the city and the nation, representing a free, acculturated, prominent Jewish citizenry in the social and cultural life of the community. Influenced by the religious environment of America, Seixas developed such significant innovations as public preaching on contemporary issues during worship at Shearith Israel, as well as a more personal pastoral relationship with the members of the synagogue than had been traditional in the function of a rabbi.  
Creating the Role of the Rabbi  
Clearly, Seixas’ clerical style was being shaped by the influence of the dominant Protestant culture. Aside from the use of the title “Rabbi” and “Reverend,” Seixas adopted the clerical garb that was common in the Christian ministry, including a black pulpit robe and the clerical tab collar, depicted in the well known portrait commissioned by Columbia University. This phenomenon reflected the growing public persona of the Rabbi of Shearith Israel — an indeed revolutionary development in the new pluralistic society of the United States. At a time in which the rabbis of Europe still served the traditional parochial function of ritual judge and Talmudic scholar, in Jewish communities isolated and marginalized behind the locked walls of ghettos, Seixas was assuming a remarkable leadership role in the broader society of the merging metropolis of America. In 1784, the year he returned to Manhattan, he was invited to become a Regent of Columbia College, then still under the auspices of the Episcopal Church. That same year, he was appointed as one of the first Regents of the State University by the New York Legislature. He remained devoted to Columbia throughout his life, and was later elected a Trustee of the University, by its leaders that included such Revolutionary luminaries as Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Gouverneur Morris, and Robert Livingston. In 1796, he was also appointed a Trustee of the Humane Society, the major commission for the improvement of public health and medical care in New York State The most important distinction however came to Seixas on April 30, 1789, when he was invited to participate in the Inauguration of George Washington as first President of the United States. As the official spiritual representative of the Jewish citizenry, the rabbi marched in the procession of local clergy that preceded the ceremony at New York’s Federal Hall. This first symbolic recognition of Judaism as one of the “official” religions of America, followed shortly afterward by Washington’s famous series of letters to the nation’s synagogues, affirming his assurances that the new republic would grant “to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance,” were indeed seismic shifts in Jewish history. In fact, it may well be surmised that the famous “to bigotry no sanction” phrase from Washington’s letter to the Jewish congregation of Newport, was actually composed or at least suggested by Seixas himself. The President was echoing this profound sentiment, as initially expressed to him in the congratulatory address from the Rhode Island synagogue, whose President, Moses Seixas, was Gershom’s elder brother. It is perfectly feasible to assume that he sought his rabbi-brother’s help in composing the address, and these phrases do indeed appear in a number of Seixas’ sermons and letters.  
A few months after Washington’s Inauguration, the President proclaimed the first official national day of “Public Thanksgiving and Prayer” on Thursday, November 26, 1789. Drawing on the New England celebration of Thanksgiving Day, this official designation is regarded as the beginning of the transformation of a regional tradition into a national American observance. The proclamation called for citizens to gather in their houses of worship to offer prayers of gratitude for the blessings of Independence, as well as petitions for Divine guidance and blessing for the new nation. The people of Shearith Israel duly assembled in the Mill Street Synagogue, where their rabbi officiated at a special Service he had composed, drawing on appropriate prayers and Psalms from the liturgy. He also delivered a stirring “Discourse,” the first of a number of sermons he would offer from the pulpit on subsequent occasions of national celebration or “humiliation.” In his Thanksgiving Sermon on this occasion, Seixas expressed the distinctive emotions that American Jews felt at this transforming moment in their 4000 year history:  
“In considering the duties we owe to ourselves and the community to which we belong, it is necessary that we, each of us in our respective stations, behave in such a manner as to give strength and stability to the laws entered into by our representatives; to consider the burden imposed on those who are appointed to act in the Executive Department; and to contribute, as much as lays within our power, to the support of that government which is founded upon the strict principles of equal liberty and justice…  
If, to seek the peace and prosperity of the city wherein we dwell, be a duty even under bad governments, what must it be when we are situated under the best of Constitutions? It behooves us to unite, with cheerfulness and uprightness, upon all occasions that may occur in the political as well as the moral world, to promote that which has a tendency to the public good. As Jews, we are even more than others, called upon to return thanks to God for placing us in such a country – where we are free to act according to the dictates of conscience, and where no exception is taken from following the principles of our religion.  
…And lastly to conclude, my dear brethren and companions, it is incumbent on us as Jews, in a more special manner, seeing that we are the chosen and special treasure of God, to be more circumspect in our conduct – inasmuch as we are this day, living examples of His Divine Power and Unity. So may we be striking examples to the nations of the earth, as it is mentioned in Sacred Scripture: ‘Ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation!” For this purpose, let me then recommend to you a serious consideration of the several duties set forth this Day: to enter into a self-examination; to relinquish your prejudices against each other; to subdue your passions; to live as Jews ought to do – in brotherhood and amity with all our neighbors, ‘to seek peace and pursue it.’ So shall it be well with us, both here and hereafter, which God in His infinite mercy, will grant to us all!”  
Revolutionary New Chapter for Judaism  
Seixas’ words powerfully reflect the consciousness that the experience of the tiny Jewish community of the newly established United States, indeed represented an unprecedented and revolutionary new chapter in the long history of Judaism. At that time, Jews in every other country on the face of the earth still remained isolated, oppressed and disenfranchised, with none of the most basic civil rights of citizenship. In most places they still suffered violent persecution, and were marginalized in even the most advanced societies. And yet on the shores of America, they had been part of the founding and building of the new nation from its very beginning. They fought as equals in the struggle for Independence, providing support and leadership during the Revolution far out of proportion to their numbers. They were the first Jewish community since Biblical times to be able to express the sense of integration and participation in their broader society, and their loyalty to their government, that Seixas so eloquently proclaimed. His sermon had such an impact on the congregation that it was published in pamphlet form shortly afterward, hailed in the New York Daily Gazette as “ the first of its kind ever preached in English in this State, and highly deserving the attention of every pious reader, whether Jew or Christian, as it breathes nothing but pure morality and devotion.”  
During the years following the Revolution, “Rev. Mr. Seixas” continued to be involved in many aspects of community life in New York, in addition to his guidance and leadership of Shearith Israel. He remained deeply devoted to the building of the congregation as it grew with the arrival of new Jewish settlers from Europe. While eventually joined by many other newly founded synagogues throughout the city, Shearith Israel remained distinguished as America’s “Mother Jewish Congregation,” and continued to number many of the city’s most illustrious citizens among its membership. In addition to his particular commitment to the religious education of the children of the synagogue, in which he actively participated, the aging rabbi also remained devoted to his long-time mission of serving Jews in remote settlements. As late as 1811, at the age of 66, he undertook a solitary pastoral tour of New England and Canada, visiting isolated Jewish families and performing weddings and Brit Milah circumcision ceremonies. This dimension of his life became immortalized in local Jewish folklore, which preserved the memory of the itinerant rabbi’s devotion to his people.  
Gershom Mendes Seixas died on July 2, 1816, at the age of 71. His funeral was attended by the leading citizens and clergy of New York. He had served his people and community for almost 50 years, and was beloved and respected by Jews and Christians alike. His influence on his congregation and the contributions he made to the civic and cultural life of America’s major city at this formative period, are of major importance. And yet his greatest legacy lies in the far-reaching impact that his life and accomplishments were to have on the development of American Judaism. Isolated from the scholarly and cultural resources, major centers and historic models of European Jewish life and tradition, Seixas was called upon to virtually create the role of the American rabbi ex-nihilo in the remote frontier of the New World. As we have observed, the circumstances and needs of Jewish life in a free, open, and pluralistic society, provided unprecedented opportunities for creative leadership. Seixas made up for in vision, energy and intellect what he lacked in traditional knowledge and training. It can indeed be argued that Gershom Seixas singlehandedly fashioned the unique qualities and functions that came to distinguish Jewish religious leadership in the United States. While never officially ordained as a rabbi in the formal sense, “Reverend” Seixas, Hazzan of Shearith Israel, combined the ancient functions of the rabbinate with the radically new roles of civic leader, respected colleague of Christian clergy, and acknowledged representative of a free and equal Jewish citizenry in the broader social and political life of the country.  
First Truly “American Jew”  
However, it can be argued that Gershom Seixas achieved something even more significant. He was not only the first American rabbi… but also, in a major way, the first truly “American Jew.” There had been Jews in America for a century before his birth, and there were many whose contributions to the birth of the new nation were of great importance. But he uniquely made his impact on American history as a Jew… deeply grounded in both identities, and playing a critical role in both dimensions of his life. He personally participated in the key events of America’s birth … as a Jew. His commitment as a Revolutionary Patriot, was embodied in the dramatic image of his reverently wrapping up the Torah Scrolls of the Mill Street Synagogue in preparation to flee the British occupation. It was his first formal designation by the title “Rabbi,” that distinguished his leadership in the proud struggle for civil rights before the Pennsylvania legislature, not supplicating, but asserting the just liberties that Jews could claim as equal citizens. His official presence as a rabbi at the inauguration of George Washington, symbolically placed Judaism front and center at the official birth of the nation. And his contributions to the civic life of New York, were made as the respected representative of the Jewish community. At the core of his consciousness in each of these experiences, was his clear belief in the cosmic significance of the Jewish experience in this new nation…the Providential redemption that the freedom and liberty of the United States signified in the annals of Jewish history… and the unique opportunity and mandate that American life offered for the creative development of new expressions of Jewish life and identity. As clearly and eloquently as this realization was reflected in his Thanksgiving Day Sermon of 1789, it seems to have become even more evident to him in the later years of his life. In 1810 the popular American writer and historian Hannah Adams was preparing her famous two-volume work, The History of the Jews, from the Destruction of the Temple to the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century. She wrote to Rabbi Seixas, the foremost Jewish authority in the country, to clarify a number of questions on contemporary Jewish life. Following inquiries regarding belief, observance, and demographics, she asked Seixas to comment on any civil disabilities or discrimination suffered by Jews in the United States. The rabbi’s answers to the other more descriptive requests were informative and straightforward — but he was clearly quite indignant at the implications and assumptions of this particular query…  
“which surprises me very much…as the Constitution of the United States as well as the Constitution of the State of New York does not disqualify any person from holding an office either of honor or trust on account of his religious principles or tenets… all are entitled to equal rights and privileges… My dear Madam, there is one thing which I would wish you to notice – that the Justice and righteousness of Providence is manifested in the dispersion of His People – for they have never been driven from any one country without finding an Asylum in another… and this Country – the United States of America, is perhaps the only place where Jews have not suffered persecution, but rather the reverse – for through the mercies of a Benign Judge, we are encouraged and indulged with every right of citizenship.”  
Upon Seixas’death, Columbia University, which he had devotedly served as Trustee for thirty years, commissioned a portrait that still hangs on the campus today. The Trustees also commissioned a memorial medallion, with the rabbi’s likeness… and a tribute that embraces his essential quality: “Rev. Gershom Mendes Seixas… A Man in Whom Was The Spirit.” Indeed, the noblest and most enduring ideals of both the Jewish tradition and the American spirit were embodied in this fascinating American Jewish hero… the “Patriot Rabbi of the Revolution”… and the first American Jew!  
Bibliographical Notes  
Judson, Dan, “The Mercies of A Benign Judge: A Letter from Gershom Seixas to Hannah Adams, 1810.” The American Jewish Archives Journal, Vol. LVI. Nos.1 & 2. 2007.  
Marcus, Jacob Rader, “The Handsome Young Priest in the Black Gown: The Personal World of Gershom Seixas.” Hebrew Union College Annual, 40-41 (1969-70).  
Seixas, Gershom Mendes, “A Religious Discourse: Thanksgiving Day Sermon, November 26, 1789.” With Introduction by Isidore S. Meyer. Jewish Historical Society of New York. 1977.

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