Private Owner of Washington's Letter to Jews Wants to be Left Alone





 

Richard Morgenstern just wants to be left alone.

But when you are the multimillionaire owner of one of the most important documents in American Jewish history — George Washington’s Letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, R.I. — avoiding the limelight is not easy. Especially when that document disappeared from public view 10 years ago and you are the only man in the world with the power to bring it back.

In a series of articles and opinion columns this year, the Forward has highlighted the importance of the letter not just to the American Jewish community, but also to the American nation. “It’s the most eloquent statement, perhaps in our history, of religious tolerance,” Washington biographer Ron Chernow told this paper.





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