Washington's Rebuke to Bigotry Press Release


Contact: Rachel Tarlow Gul
Over the River Public Relations
201-503-1321, [email protected]



Reflections on the First President's Famous 1790 Letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island

"Washington's Rebuke to Bigotry represents some of the most eloquent voices on one of our most confounding challenges. The reflections on the Washington-Seixas letters will provoke citizens of all ages to think more imaginatively about the links between freedom of religious expression and deep democracy."    ​

-Diane L. Moore, Harvard Divinity School

Adam Strom, Dan Eshet, and Michael Feldberg, Editors

Facing History and Ourselves – an educational and professional development organization that helps people of all ages confront the lessons of history – in partnership with the George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom has launched the Give Bigotry No Sanction project to inspire thoughtful conversation about matters of religious freedom.

As part of this project, Facing History will publish WASHINGTON’S REBUKE TO BIGOTRY (Trade Paperback Original; July 28, 2015; $15.95),  an important book that shows how religious freedom, religious difference and civic identity are issues that are just as important today as they were in 1790.

This fascinating book gathers the voices of 30 contributors from around the world and across many disciplines as they use George Washington’s famous 1790 letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island—a foundational document of religious tolerance—as a spring board to address important and timely questions regarding religious freedom.

Many of the personal accounts and essays featured in WASHINGTON’S REBUKE TO BIGOTRY bring the spirit of Washington’s letter into the present, reflecting on contemporary issues such as the legalization of same sex marriage in the United States, restrictions on religious practice in the public sphere in European countries, and the role of religion in education. 

Contributors include: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; philosopher and prize-winning author Anthony Appiah; author and activist Eboo Patel; Pulitizer Prize winning historian, Gordon Wood; renowned historian of Jewish life, Jonathan Sarna; distinguished American philosopher, Martha Nussbaum; and Dean of the Faculty of Law at Harvard University, Martha Minow.

WASHINGTON’S REBUKE TO BIGOTRY is an invaluable book that will inform discussions about religion and religious difference in our own communities.


Facing History and Ourselves was founded in 1976 by educators who believed that instilling intellectual vigor and curiosity goes hand-in-hand with teaching facts and figures. From the disturbing lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides to struggles for civil rights from Birmingham to South Africa, we trust students to wrestle with complex moments in human history, and work to help them understand the range of human behavior. These students learn to connect the dots between the ethical choices they’ll face in life and the positive outcomes they can create in their community and in the world. 


The George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom™ (Institute) is a non-profit [501(c)3] organization devoted to promoting open, respectful discussion about religious liberty and the separation of church and state, and exploring the contemporary ramifications of these concepts in the United States and across the globe.

Reflections On Our First President’s Famous 1790 Letter 
To The Hebrew Congregation In Newport, Rhode Island

Adam Strom, Dan Eshet, and Michael Feldberg, Editors
ISBN 978-1-940457-11-6; $15.95; 320 Pages
ISBN (ebook edition) 978-1-940457-09-3; $12.95
Facing History and Ourselves Trade Paperback Original; July 28, 2015

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