Federal judge allows Rhode Island to get involved in lawsuit over nation's oldest synagogue

A federal judge has allowed the state of Rhode Island to intervene in a fight over the future of the nation's oldest synagogue.

The lawsuit pits the nation's first Jewish congregation in New York City against the congregation that worships at the historic Touro Synagogue in Newport.

Leaders of New York's Congregation Shearith Israel say it owns the Rhode Island synagogue and property worth millions. They also want to evict the congregation that worships there.

The case is due for trial next month.

U.S. District Judge John McConnell on Wednesday allowed the Rhode Island state attorney general's office to intervene, because it has a role in overseeing charitable trusts.

Lawyers for both sides said Thursday that they welcomed the intervention. They say multiple attempts at mediation have failed.