Landmark: National Museum of American Jewish History
Moses Jacob Ezekiel, 1876
* big standing people, liberty cap, eagle, serpent, flame, the Constitution
* Was half a block North on 5th. Moved late 2010. The first two pictures are from the current location. The rest are from the previous location.
Dedicated to the people of the United States by the order B'nai B'rith and Israelites of America in commemoration of the centennial anniversary of American Independence.
Commissioned by B'nai B'rith for the United States Centenial, "Religious Liberty" was dedicated in Fairmount Park on Thanksgiving Day in 1876.
Carved in Rome from a single block of carrara marble, the statue was executed by Sir Moses Ezekiel, an American Jewish sculptor.
The monument was rededicated by B'nai B'rith International for this nation's Bicentennial in 1976.
The allegorical group represents liberty protecting religious freedom. The female figure wears the liberty cap bordered by thirteen stars for each of the original American colonies. In her left hand, she holds the constitution of the United States the legal document by which freedom is guaranteed to all citizens.
Religion is personified by a youth standing beside the figure of Liberty, whose outstretched arm extends over him protectively. His right hand reaches toward her, while in his left, he holds the inextinguishable flame of faith.
At the base of the group is an American eagle crushing a serpent in its talons, signifying the triumph of American democracy over the tyranny of intolerance and oppression.
The monument was relocated to Independence Mall and rededicated on May 4, 1986 in an historic joint venture between B'nai B'rith International and the National Museum of American Jewish History.
From this site, the statue proclaims in harmony with the Liberty Bell only steps away, a resounding message of religious liberty for all peoples.
* In front of the National Museum of American Jewish History. Southeast corner, 5th and Market.
* 39.950350,-75.148825 [map]
* On the Independence Mall tour
* Exhibits: Religious, Moved
* See also:
+Max Buten's first picture of this piece
+Max Buten's second picture of this piece
+Max Buten's third picture of this piece
+jewishvirtuallibrary.org's Moses Jacob Ezekiel page