The nation's oldest Jewish congregation says it plans to appeal a decision that removed it as trustee of the nation's oldest synagogue.

Congregation Shearith Israel in New York filed a notice Tuesday saying it would appeal to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

A federal judge in Providence, Rhode Island, last month ruled in favor of the congregation that worships at Newport's Touro Synagogue in a dispute over who should control the 250-year-old synagogue and who owns a set of ceremonial bells worth millions.

A lawyer for the Newport congregation says there's no merit to any appeal.

Disputes between the congregations have been going on since the 1800s.

In 1790, George Washington sent a letter to the Touro congregation pledging America's commitment to religious liberty.