Congregation Mikveh Israel
Also referred to as the "Synagogue of the American Revolution," Congregation Mikveh Israel is Philadelphia's oldest, continuously operating Jewish congregation. It was founded in the 1740s by Spanish and Portuguese Jews. The congregation continues to worship according to the practices began by those Jews of Spanish and Portuguese origin (which is also known as Sephardic). The current temple was built in 1976 and it originally housed the National Museum of Jewish History, which moved to a new location just to the south. The congregation uses the extra space for exhibits and events.
Backstory and Context
The congregation earned its nickname during the American Revolution because its members were active in the cause. Some of its members participated in the rejection of the Stamp Act (the law the British imposed on the colonies to help pay for the French and Indian Wars) in 1765. Also, Jews from further east fled to Philadelphia to seek refuge from the British.