Menu JTA Search

Colonial Jews Helped Found Brown University, Documents Reveal

Documents establishing that Jewish merchants in Colonial New England were instrumental in the founding of Rhode Island College, forerunner of Brown University, have been acquired by the American Jewish Archives, Dr. Jacob R. Marcus, its director, announced today.

The college, a Baptist institution, guaranteed freedom of religion to its students and at one point even offered to appoint a Jewish teacher if there were enough Jewish students at the college. It further offered to allow the Jews to establish a chair of Hebrew to be occupied by a Jew.