The American Revolution and the Jews

While some Jews fought, others suffered at the hands of the British.


The role of Jews in the events leading up to the American Revolution is largely unrecognized, given that they represented only a tiny percent of the overall population. Like other colonial Americans, Jews’ loyalties were divided, with a sizeable majority favoring the Patriot vision of an independent America.

When revolutionary fervor grew after Britain’s imposition of the Stamp Act in 1765, Jewish merchants’ signatures appeared on the various non-importation resolutions adopted by individual colonies. Like other Americans, they opposed the power of the British Parliament to tax the colonies. But some Jews probably had mixed feelings, given the freedoms they enjoyed under British rule.

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More about Jews and the Revolutionary War from and the American Jewish Historical Society

Jefferson and the Jews
Thomas Jefferson was a strong advocate for civic equality and religious freedom for American Jews.

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Haym Salomon played a significant role in saving the newly established United States of America from financial ruin, and he played an important role in Jewish community affairs.

Moses Michael Hays: A Most Valuable Citizen

Boston’s most prominent eighteenth-century Jewish citizen, Hays set a high standard for civic leadership and charity.

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