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July 01, 2010 - Image 3

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2010-07-01

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FRESH
MARKET

Front Lines

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32906 Middlebelt Road, Farmington Hills (at 14 mile)

248-855-0007

Patriotic 4th

A Chicago statue honors Haym Salomon

Key Jewish roles in independence.

T

he role of Jews in the events
leading up to the American
Revolution is largely unrecog-
nized — they represented only a tiny
percent of the overall population. Like
other colonial Americans, their loyalties
were divided, but with a sizeable majority
favoring an independent America.
After Britain's Stamp Act in 1765, many
Jewish merchants signed non-importation
resolutions adopted by individual colonies.
An estimated 100 Jews fought in the
Revolution. The first Jew to die fighting
for American independence was Francis
Salvador, 29, also the first elected to pub-
lic office in the colonies. He arrived in
South Carolina from London in 1773, was
elected to the General Assembly in 1774
and died fighting Indians and Tories on
the Carolina frontier on Aug. 1, 1776.
Many Jewish merchants suffered dis-
locations and reverses during the war
and many personal fortunes disappeared.
Haym Salomon, later to gain fame as the
Jewish financier of the Revolution, began
the war as a wealthy merchant whose sac-
rifices kept the Revolution going.
He gave his entire fortune of more
than $800,000 to the cause. This debt was
never repaid. He died sick and penniless
at age 45 in 1785. He left a young widow,
Rachel, and four children under age 7.
British attacks forced residents, includ-
ing Jews, from the cities of Newport,

(right) along with Revolutionary leaders

Robert Morris and George Washington.

Philadelphia, Boston and Charleston. Of
the approximately 1,500 Jews scattered
among the 13 colonies on the eve of the
American Revolution, about 200 lived in
Newport — the largest concentration of
Jews in the colonies.
Aaron Lopez was one of the Newport
Jews who opposed British rule and aban-
doned the city: The Touro synagogue was
dosed, and its spiritual leader, Isaac Touro,
who professed loyalist tendencies, sailed
with his family to Jamaica where he lived
out his life under British rule.
Jews fought at Bunker Hill, Valley Forge
and other battles throughout the colonies.
Behind the scenes, they provided logistic
support by equipping soldiers, shipping
supplies and raising funds. Ship owners
such as Isaac Moses of Philadelphia outfit-
ted privateers to harass British shipping,
and their ships ran the British blockade
to provide provisions to the needy revolu-
tionary forces.
Their biblical education colored the
American founders' attitude toward reli-
gion, ethics and politics. They adopted the
biblical motifs of the Puritans for politi-
cal reasons. For example, the struggle of
the ancient Hebrews against the wicked
Pharaoh came to embody the struggle of
the colonists against English tyranny.
The first design for the official seal
of the U.S. recommended by Benjamin
Franklin, John Adams and Thomas

1111 CONTENTS

Jefferson depicts Jews crossing the Red
Sea. The inscription on the Liberty Bell
in Philadelphia is a quote from Leviticus
25:10: "Proclaim liberty throughout the
land unto all the inhabitants thereo'
Michigan has been home to Jews since
1761, when the first Jewish settler, Ezekiel
Solomon, came as a fur trader and suppli-
er to the British troops in the strategic wil-
derness outpost at Fort Michilimackinac.
Chapman Abraham, one of Solomon's
partners, is the first known Jewish resident
in Fort Detroit. By 1762, he was transport-
ing furs and needed goods in flotillas of
voyageur canoes between Montreal and
Detroit. 'While residing most of the year
in Michigan, both Solomon and Abraham
remained members of Montreal's
Congregation Shearith Israel. During Chief
Pontiac's 1763 native uprising against
the British, they each were captured and
imprisoned, but eventually released.
Years before the American Revolution,
Ezekiel Solomon, Chapman Abraham
and their other Jewish trading partners,
Gershon Levi, Benjamin Lyon and Levi
Solomons, are credited with helping to
"push back the wilderness of the Great
Lakes country"' and open up the continent
for settlement. The British did not leave
Michigan until 1796.

Sports
Spotlight
Staff Box
Synagogue List
To Dol/Calendar
To Do!/Crossword
Torah Portion
World/Israel

Columnists

Robert Sklar
Danny Raskin

5
36

Our JN Mission

The Jewish News aspires to communicate news and opinion that's useful, engaging, enjoyable and unique. It strives to
reflect the full range of diverse viewpoints while also advocating positions that strengthen Jewish unity and continu-
ity. We desire to create and maintain a challenging, caring, enjoyable work environment that encourages creativity
and innovation. We acknowledge our role as a responsible, responsive member of the community. Being competi-
tive, we must always strive to be the most respected, outstanding Jewish community publication in the nation. Our
rewards are informed, educated readers, very satisfied advertisers, contented employees and profitable growth.

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Engagin

OLD

Our Young

Professionals:

page 18

29
27
8
30
37
40
32
15

FLORIDA BI-COLOR
SWEET CORN

Compiled by Associate Editor Alan Hitsky

July 1 - 7 , 2010 I 19 - 25 Tammuz 5770 I Vol. CXXXVII, No. 22

Arts/Entertainment .... 33
Building Community
20
Family Focus
41
Health & Fitness
29
Letters
6
Marketplace
45
Mazel Toy!
42
Metro
24
Obituaries
51
Opinion
19
Roundup
10
Spirituality
30

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