NEW YORK, Feb. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- To mark the Washington's Birthday holiday, Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer will read and discuss George Washington's Letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, RI of 1790 with students at the Facing History School, 525 West 50th Street, on February 15, 2011 at 10 AM. Washington's Letter, which promised that the government of the United States will give "to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance," is one of the nation's clearest expressions of religious freedom and separation of church and state. Stringer is encouraging all schools in Manhattan and the other boroughs of New York City to read and discuss this important document.
Stringer's visit is part of a multiyear project called "Give Bigotry No Sanction" created jointly by the George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom (www.GWIRF.org) and Facing History and Ourselves (www.facinghistory.org), an international organization that delivers classroom strategies, resources and lessons that inspire young people to take responsibility for their world.
Founded by John L. Loeb Jr., the George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom supports efforts to educate students about religious liberty and separation of church and state through an exploration of Washington's Letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, RI of 1790. In this historic letter, Washington promised that in the United States, "All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship." The Institute supports educational programs for scholars, public figures, students and teachers who want to learn about and discuss religious freedom in America.
A former U.S. ambassador to Denmark, John L. Loeb Jr. has long advocated for interreligious understanding. Regarding Borough President Stringer's visit to the Facing History School, Loeb said, "Even New York, the world's most diverse and tolerant city, has recently been divided over the issue of freedom of worship. The nation's first president made it clear that religious liberty was not subject to majority opinion, but is an 'inherent natural right.' Every student, every American, should read Washington's Letter to the Hebrew Congregation."
SOURCE George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom