JEWISH-AMERICAN HALL OF FAME • JEWISH MUSEUM IN CYBERSPACE
ANTI-SEMITIC BIGOTRY AS CHRONICLED BY HISTORICAL MEDALS


 
350 Years of Jewish life in America Medal
Figure 36. 350 Years of Jewish Life in America Medal

Dana Krinsky, USA, 2004, Bronze struck medal, 76 mm. (Image courtesy of Mel Wacks)

Another medal was issued for the celebration of 350 years of Jewish life in America (figure 36). On the obverse a group of settlers, positioned in the shape of a ship’s prow, is seen coming to the American shores, represented by stars and stripes; the legend is the well-known biblical phrase from Leviticus (that is also inscribed on the Liberty Bell), "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land,” inscribed in English and Hebrew. On the reverse, below a stylized modern city skyline, the legend reads “350 Years of Jewish Life in America 1654 [menorah logo] 2004.” Above the skyline is an extensive excerpt from George Washington's letter sent in 1790 to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island (now the Touro Synagogue), voicing his opposition to bigotry and persecution of Jewish citizens. It reads: "The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for giving to Mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection, should demean themselves as good citizens. May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while everyone shall sit under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid." Fittingly, the last phrases are taken from the Old Testament of the Bible.

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