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Rabbi Gershom Mendez Seixas

July 24th, 2008 · 6 Comments

Rabbi Gershom Mendez Seixas

גרשון ב"ר יצחק

Spiritual Leader of Congregation Shearith Israel, New York City

Date of Death: Tue. July 2, 1816 - Tammuz 6 5576

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Cemetery Details
55 St James Place
New York, NY 10038
United States

Phone: (212) 873-0300


Cemetery Map:

Notes: Congregation Shearith Israel Cemetery is owned and managed by The Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue in New York City The cemetery is always locked, contact Shearith Israel for the key

Directions to Kever: Chatham Square Cemetery is owned and managed by Congregation Shearith Israel, The Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue in New York City. It is located at 55 St James Place, opposite Chatham Square and is always locked. Location: It's a very small cemetery and easy to find

Name Listed on Cemetery Database: Gershom Mendez Seixas

Biographical Notes:

Source: Portraits Etched In Stone, David De Sola Pool, Credit: IFJCAH

Photo Caption: Rabbi Gershom Mendes Seixas, Credit: Congregation Shearith Israel

Bio Information: 
Rabbi Gershom Mendes Seixas (1745-1816) was the first American-born spiritual leader of Shearith Israel, having been raised and educated in our community. He began service as Hazan in 1768, and quickly showed himself to be an adept synagogue functionary, beloved by the Congregation. When British troops took control of New York City in 1776, Rev. Seixas and many congregants fled New York rather than live under British rule. He became Hazan at Mikveh Israel in Philadelphia through the war years. In 1784, he returned to New York to continue his service to Shearith Israel as Hazan, mohel, and communal leader. Aside from his many responsibilities as the religious head of New York’s Jewish community, he was active in a wide range of civic organizations. He was a Trustee of the Humane Society; a member of the Board of Regents of the University of New York; and a regent and Trustee of Columbia College. In 1943, the Jewish Studies Society of Columbia University became known as the Seixas Society.
Source: Congregation Shearith Israel

Credit: Source: Portraits Etched In Stone, David De Sola Pool, Credit: IFJCAH

Credit: Source: Portraits Etched In Stone, David De Sola Pool, Credit: IFJCAH

Credit: Source: Portraits Etched In Stone, David De Sola Pool, Credit: IFJCAH

Tags: New York · Pre 1900

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Zacharyah // Nov 23, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    When the British occupited New York in Aug. 1776 Rev Gershom Mendez Seixas was the only religious that did not collaborate with them. He grabed the Sefrei Torah and ran Upstate. In gratitude George Washington asked that he be the one to give the invocation at Washington 1st Inauguration in New York City, then the Capital.

  • 2 Azi // Mar 18, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    A dramatic episode from the life of Revolutionary War patriot, Rabbi Gershom Mendes Seixas, of New York City’s Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue.

  • 3 Reb Elya // Mar 23, 2011 at 1:59 pm

  • 4 MENDLE // Sep 16, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Rav Moshe Feinstein and the talmidim in MTJ would go to this cemetery every 9 Av after kinus.
    When you leave the building on E b’way, turn left and walk about three blocks and there it is, a gated lot.

  • 5 asher // Sep 16, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    Mendle: What’s the source for this info. I also heard that R”M use to visit the cemetery in Ellenvile, NY (when he stayed in Swan Lake during the summer)

  • 6 ben israel // Dec 11, 2015 at 10:18 am

    hamodia jan 12, 2011 magazine has an article about shearith israEL cemetery

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