Menu JTA Search

Jewish Chaplains of Allied Armies Hold Conference to Prepare for High Holidays

Jewish chaplains with the Allied armies recently held a conference in Algiers to prepare for the Jewish High Holy Days, it was revealed today by the Jewish Welfare Board. A statement issued by the J.W.B. emphasizes that “the largest number of Jewish men and women in uniform in the nation’s history, scattered all over the world on every fighting front, will observe the High Holy Days of the year 5704, with all their traditional solemnity and devotion.”

“American Jewish chaplains flew into Algiers from Sicily, Tunis, Casablanca and intermediate points to confer with the Senior Chaplain of the North African Theatre and their British colleagues,” the statement discloses. “They flew back to their assignments the next day. The conference arranged for High Holy Day services for the British and American forces in the following towns in North Africa: Casablanca, Oran, Algiers, Bizerte, Tunis, Kairouan, Bone, Sousse, Bougie and Phillipeville. Jewish chaplains will also conduct services in several towns in Sicily and behind the lines of the Fifth Army in Italy.”

Home hospitality after the services — a Yomtov family dinner in a Jewish home — was arranged with the Jewish communities in the North African cities. Similar arrangements for religious services followed by home hospitality have been made by the Jewish chaplains in England, Ireland, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Egypt, Palestine and other overseas points, the Jewish Welfare Board announced.

To assist in these arrangements, the chairman of the Army and Navy Committee of the Jewish Welfare Board, Walter Rothschild, visited the British Isles. Mr. Rothschild organized an over-all committee under the chairmanship of Lord Nathan to co-ordinate all arrangements for the High Holy Days in the British Isles and all activities on behalf of the Jewish servicemen and women stationed there.

In this country, arrangements have been made to care for hundreds of thousands of Jewish soldiers and sailors by over 500 local JWB Army and Navy Committees, and 260 USO-JWB workers in cooperation with the Jewish chaplains stationed in their vicinities. Where there is no regularly-stationed Jewish chaplain, the JWB will provide a civilian rabbi to lead the High Holy Day services.

The War and Navy Departments are cooperating by granting passes to attend religious services, wherever military exigencies permit. They have also assigned Jewish chaplains to Labrador, several Caribbean islands and other bases to conduct High Holy Day Services.

NEXT STORY