- dreyfus Affair and it became an antisemitic commonplace. the protocols of the elders of zion (first published in Russia in 1904) included the idea of a Jewish-Masonic plot to control the world. In Germany up to this time, Freemasonry was still thought of as a conservative and partly antisemitic association. When the Protocols were translated into German and English in the 1920s, Jews and Freemasons were identified as the sinister agents of the outbreak of World War I and of the German defeat. The slogan Juden und Freimaurer became a battle cry of the German right wing, and was utilized by Hitler in his rise to power. During World War II, Freemasons together with "Bolsheviks and Jews" were persecuted by the Nazis. (Encyclopaedia Hebraica) -In the U.S. Jewish names appear among the founders of Freemasonry in colonial America, and in fact it is probable that Jews were the first to introduce the movement into the country. Tradition connects Mordecai Campanall, of Newport, Rhode Island, with the supposed establishment of a lodge there in 1658. In Georgia four Jews appear to have been among the founders of the first lodge, organized in Savannah in 1734. Moses Michael Hays, identified with the introduction of the Scottish Rite into the United States, was appointed deputy inspector general of Masonry for North America in about 1768. In 1769 Hays organized the King David's Lodge in New York, moving it to Newport in 1780. He was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts from 1788 to 1792. Moses seixas was prominent among those who established the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island, and was Grand Master from 1802 to 1809. A contemporary of Hays, solomon bush , was deputy inspector general of Masonry for Pennsylvania, and in 1781 Jews were influential in the Sublime Lodge of Perfection in Philadelphia which played an important part in the early history of Freemasonry in America. Other early leaders of the movement included: isaac da costa (d. 1783), whose name is found among the members of King Solomon's Lodge, Charleston, in 1753; Abraham Forst, of Philadelphia, deputy inspector general for Virginia in 1781; and Joseph Myers, who held the same office, first for Maryland, and later for South Carolina. In 1793 the cornerstone ceremony for the new synagogue in Charleston, South Carolina, was conducted according to the rites of Freemasonry. The later history of Freemasonry in the United States shows a number of prominent Jewish names, but nothing corresponding to their influence in the earlier period. In 1843 the Grand Lodge in New York addressed a letter to the Mutterloge in Berlin complaining against the refusal of German lodges to accept registered Masons of the American Lodge because they were Jewish. Nonsectarianism in matters of religion has always characterized American Freemasonry, and regulations excluding Jews have not been part of their constitutions, though whether admissions policies have ever been restrictive would be difficult to establish. The apparatus of secrecy, ritual, and regalia which was a feature of B'nai B'rith in its early years no doubt reflected the influence of Masonic practice as well as a desire to offer a substitute within the Jewish community. (Sefton D. Temkin) -In Israel In the Masonic world Jerusalem has always been regarded as the birthplace of Freemasonry; according to its tradition, there were Masonic lodges in the Holy Land at the time of the erection of King Solomon's Temple. Lodges are known there from the middle of the 19th century. During the Ottoman regime, six lodges were established in the country. The first regular one was founded in Jerusalem in May 1873, under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Canada. In 1891 another was established in Jaffa under the National Grand Lodge of Egypt. During the years 1910–11 the Grand Lodge of Scotland founded three lodges. During the British mandatory regime, Freemasonry flourished under several jurisdictions, in the main those of the Grand Lodges of Palestine and of Scotland. In 1932, four lodges in Jerusalem, holding under the National Grand Lodge of Egypt, constituted themselves into the National Grand Lodge of Palestine. Later, three of other jurisdictions joined it. With the establishment of the State of Israel, a number of changes occurred: the lodges holding under the Grand Lodge of England and one holding under the Grand Lodge of Scotland moved out of the area. The remaining lodges of foreign origin and the five holding under the German Symbolic Grand Lodge in Exile joined the National Grand Lodge of Palestine. The five remaining lodges holding under the Grand Lodge of Scotland started to negotiate with their Grand Lodge to consecrate a Sovereign Grand Lodge of the State of Israel, which would encompass all the Masonic lodges in the country. The United Grand Lodge of the State of Israel was constituted in 1953 and since its consecration is the only sovereign grand lodge in Israel. In 1970 it consisted of 64 lodges, with some 3,500 active members drawn from all communities; Jews, Muslims, Christians, and Druze. The activities of the Grand Lodge and its several lodges included a mutual insurance fund; the Masonic old age home at Nahariyyah; Masonic temples all over the country; and a museum and library. By the early 21st century the number of lodges had increased to over 80. (Abraham Fellman) -BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Katz, Jews and Freemasons (1970); idem, in: JJSO, 9 (1967), 137–47; J.G. Findel, Die Juden als Freimaurer (1901); D. Wright, The Jews and Freemasonry (1930); S. Oppenheim, in: AJHSP, 19 (1910), 1–94; A.M. Friedenberg, ibid., 95–100; H. Loewe, in: Masonic News, 1 (1928), 14–15.
Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.
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