After more three years, the fight over colonial silver bells, between two of the country’s oldest Jewish congregations is heading to court. The trial will take place at U.S. District court in Providence.
The fight began in 2012, after the congregation at Touro Synagogue in Newport, received a $7.4 million appraisal for a pair of ornate silver bells, dating back to colonial times. The ceremonial bells are part of the Torah housed in the 250 year-old synagogue.
The congregation in Newport hoped to sell the bells, to fund operations. However a second Jewish congregation, this one from New York City, stepped in claiming ownership of the bells, and said they are not to be sold.
The New York congregation claims ownership because they hold a lease to Touro Synagogue dating back to the turn of the 20th century.
The New York congregation says the colonial bells belong with Touro Synagogue and should not be removed. The Newport congregation says they are in financial straits and need to sell the bells.
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