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Gershom Mendes Seixas, who had fled from New York to Connecticut, was requested to act as the first rabbi of the reorganized congregation.The estimate for the new building was £600, and the subscription being inadequate, Haym Salomon, the banker and financial agent of the Continental Congress, agreed to pay one-fourth the cost.In 1748, when The City Dancing Assembly, the city's most famous social organization, was founded, among the names on the subscription list were those of David Franks, Joseph Marks, and Samson Levy.Congregation Mikveh Israel, the first Jewish congregation in Philadelphia, had its beginnings about 1745 and is believed to have worshiped in a small house in Sterling Alley.
The building opened on July 4, 1976, the Nation's Bicentennial.
Part of their business consisted of the importation of slaves.
Along with Joseph Marks, Jewish merchants from Rhode Island, Jacob Rivera and Aaron Lopez, they brought in about 650 or over half the slaves that arrived in the region.
The congregation removed from the house in Sterling Alley and then occupied quarters in Cherry Alley, between Third and Fourth streets.
The building in Cherry Alley, which had sufficed for the few families in the city, became inadequate, and steps were taken to secure a more commodious building.
He ministered to the Congregation Mickvé Israel until his death in Sept., 1811.