Religious liberty. Separation of church and state. These aren’t just terms in a textbook. For students around the country they are real, vital, and part of their daily lives.
The George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom sponsors essay contests for high school students that use George Washington’s Letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, RI of 1790 to explore issues of intolerance, prejudice and religious discrimination. The following essays are among the winners.
By Colin Martin
The United States of America was grounded on one major principle: religious freedom. Nearly 400 years later, support for this freedom is as strong as when the Pilgrims landed aboard the Mayflower in 1620. [Read More]
By Abby Wasylean
Throughout this nation’s existence, the subject of religious freedom has had the power to divide people. When the United States of America was first founded, the founding fathers ensured religious freedom by passing the bill of rights. [Read More]
By Halle Duggan
In 1790, George Washington made a promise, a promise that would define a righteous path for our budding nation. He wrote to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island ensuring a country in which “every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.” [Read More]
Bring the Letter Alive in Your School
There are so many ways that you can incorporate study of George Washington’s letter into your curriculum. Click the school icon to learn more.