Jews in the Armed Forces Will Observe Passover in 200 Posts on Land and Sea
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Jews in the Armed Forces Will Observe Passover in 200 Posts on Land and Sea

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Thousands of Jewish servicemen stationed at 200 home and overseas posts with the armed forces of the United States, will attend traditional seders and observe Passover ceremonies following arrangements made by the National Jewish Welfare Board in cooperation with the Corps of Chaplains of the Army and the Navy, it was announced today by Dr. David de Sola Pool, chairman of the Board’s Committee on Religious Activities.

In nearly 100 cities of the United States, thousands of Jewish families will throw open their homes to soldiers on short leave from nearby cantonments. It is estimated that about 10,000 Jewish soldiers will be accommodated in this fashion, while thousands more are expected to attend approximately 75 community services are ranged by Jewish Welfare Board workers, and conducted by regular Army chaplains.

All troop transports recently leaving ports of embarkation have been supplied with a pound of matzoth for each Jewish soldier, a quantity of Passover meats, a “haggadah,” and a mimeographed list of specific suggestions for Catholic and Protestant chaplains aboard relating to the conduct of Passover services.

Fifty Jewish cadets at West Point will hold a seder in the Army chapel on the reservation having received supplies from the Jewish Welfare Board. In St. Louis, non-Jewish Army officers requested and received 100 pounds of matzoths and Passover food for the Jewish men in their command.


The Board has arranged with the Senior Jewish Chaplain of the British Army for Jewish soldiers serving with the American Expeditionary Forces in England and Ireland to observe Passover. In addition, more than 30,000 “haggadahs” or Passover prayer books, together with 50,000 pounds of matzoths and other Passover foods have been shipped to Jewish servicemen here and abroad by the Board.

In Hawaii, where nightly blackouts and Army camp alerts will prevent ceremonial after dark, daytime services will be held by Army Chaplain Harry Richmond and Navy Chaplain Herbert C. Straus in the two U S.O. clubs operated by the Jewish Welfare Board in Honolulu. More than 3,000 soldiers of the Jewish faith are expected to attend, while those who cannot leave camp will attend service and actors within camp areas.

In the Panama Canal Zone, seder services will be held in both Panama City and Balboa, on the Atlantic and Pacific sides of the isthmus. In Bermuda, a community seder has been arranged by the local Board committee in cooperation with the Army and Navy authorities. Other Passover services for soldiers will take place in Antigua, Jamaica and Trinidad, B.W.I., Paramaribo, Aruba and Curacao, N.W.I.; Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Newfoundland and Iceland. American Jewish soldiers in Iceland will observe the Passover in conjunction with British soldiers and several refugee families residing there.

Eight hundred Jewish soldiers will attend two Passover seders to be held simultaneously at the largest mess hall in Camp Upton, with Rabbi Philip Goodman officiating. Rabbi Norman Salit will lead services for soldiers at Fort Jay, N.Y., Rabbi Alexander Steinbach will officiate at Fort Tilden, L. I; Rabbi Isaac Landman will serve at Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, and Rabbis Morris Max and Isidor Signor will conduct services for Coast Guard men at Manhattan Beach. Two seders will be held at Fort Dix, N. J. under the direction of Chaplain Bernard Segal. One will be for patients and staff at the Base Hospital, the other at the Reception Center for men in quarantine. About 500 soldiers will attend. At the U.S.O. Club, operated by the Jewish Welfare Board in New York 300 Jewish servicemen will attend services conducted by Chaplain Joshua L. Goldberg, of the United States Navy.


The refugees and immigrants who are temporarily detained at Ellis Island, will usher in the Passover Festival at a Seder service and celebration that has been arranged for their benefit by the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society. Arrangements have also been made to accommodate a number of Jewish enlisted men and officers of the U.S. Coast Guard at the Seder Service at Ellis Island, Abraham Herman, President of the Society stated. A Passover celebration will be held as HIAS headquarters in New York City, where refugees and immigrants are temporarily sheltered upon their arrival prior to their departure for their destination.

In Little Rock, Ark, a seder will be held in an open field for 125 orthodox Jewish soldiers, and an equal number will observe the holiday in the camp chapel at Fort McPherson, near Atlanta, Ga. Separate seders for orthodox and reformed Jewish soldiers will be conducted in Columbus, Ga., with 150 men expected at each.

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