Campaign by Airman’s Wife Leads to Chapel for New York Naval Base

A permanent place of worship for Jewish servicemen has been installed in the chapel of the United States Naval Air Station at Floyd Bennett Field, thanks largely to the persistent efforts of a Jewish airman’s wife.

Mrs. Rita Fajardo, wife of builder third class Sidney Fajardo, campaigned for the past two years to have a synagogue erected at the base, When she learned that a new interdenominational chapel was being built there, she immediately urged her husband to seek official permission for a synagogue to be included in it.

Airman Fajardo submitted the request through the necessary chain of command and ultimately got approval from the Navy. The synagogue, which is housed in a special hall inside the chapel, was dedicated last week.

Mrs. Fajardo’s efforts even won financial support from Protestant and Roman Catholic groups at the base. All of the construction work was done by the servicemen during off-duty hours. The completed synagogue, which occupies an area of 22 by 25 feet, contains an ark, candelabra and fixtures all in modern design. It can accommodate 65 worshippers.

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