By Zoom: Lunch and Learn with Rabbi Ari Plost – Thomas Kennedy and Religious Pluralism

June 10, 2020, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

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Last November, Hagerstown dedicated the Thomas Kennedy Park and Statue, a venture spearheaded by Rabbi Ari Plost, who learned of Thomas Kennedy in a class on Jewish History. Thomas Kennedy represented Hagerstown in the Maryland General Assemble in the early 19th century. Kennedy is known for the “Jew Bill”, passed in 1826, which allowed Jews to serve in public office. At that time, there were only about 150 Jews in Maryland. Kennedy, a Presbyterian born in Scotland, said, “There are no Jews in the county from whence I come nor have I the slightest acquaintance with any Jew in the world.” Yet he was adamant that even if there was only one Jew who sought office, “to that one we ought to do justice”. The Thomas Kennedy statue was sculpted by Toby Mendez, an American sculptor of over 20 public monuments.

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