Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Passover Starts Tonight; Seders Provided For 150,000 Servicemen

April 9, 1952
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Passover, the Jewish festival of liberation, marking the emancipation of Jews from slavery in Egypt, will be ushered in tomorrow at sundown with services in synagogues and the observance of the seder in Jewish homes and by 150,000 Jews in the U.S. armed services in all parts of the world.

Tons of matzoth, wine, meat, fish and religious literature were speeded to the remotest overseas points by the American military authorities. The National Jewish Welfare Board sent 50,000 pounds of Passover supplies for Jewish servicemen in the U.S. armed forces in the Far East. Frozen packaged seder meals were shipped by the J.W.B. to camps and veteran hospitals in this country. About 250 Jewish chaplains will officiate in the U.S. at seders in camps, communities and veteran hospitals.

Synagogues and religious organizations will intensify during the Passover week their campaign for the United Jewish Appeal and for the sale of Israel bonds. In his holiday greeting to the Jews of America, Edward M.M. Warburg, general chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, emphasized that Passover will have an extra significance this year to 700,000 newcomers to the State of Israel for whom "the story of Passover and the return to Israel has been literally repeated in our time and in their own experience."


The Synagogue Council of America, representing the Orthodox, Reform and Conservative religious bodies in this country, issued a Passover statement calling upon American Jewry "to rededicate itself to the cause of freedom and liberty everywhere." The statement pointed out that "only when the world is made secure for all nations and all peoples can we truly enjoy our individual freedom."

In a message issued in behalf of the American Jewish Committee, Jacob Blaustein, its president, said that "on the eve of Passover, the American Jewish Committee re-dedicates itself to achieving greater perfection in American democracy." The message called for "increasing vigilance" to maintain the cause of righteousness and freedom, expressed sympathy for those who suffer "persecution and oppression behind the Iron Curtain" and hope for the "progress being made by the young state of Israel."

Israel Goldstein, president of the American Jewish Congress, cited as causes for "sober thanksgiving," the indemnity talks between the Jews and the West Germans. Israel’s efforts to achieve economic self-sufficiency, and the strength and vigor which Americans are displaying to preserve and strengthen civil liberties and civil rights. He declared that despite the "great areas that require intense concern and attention" in the present-day world, "a new beat of hopefulness may be heard" this Passover.

Dr. Nahum Goldmann, co-chairman of the Jewish Agency, in his Passover message, today warned that "the sovereignty of Israel is still in jeopardy so long as Israel’s economic problems remain unsolved." Pointing out that those who live in Israel have already entered the "Promised Land," he added that the "full promise of this land is yet to be realized" and cited the fact that hundreds of thousands of Jews throughout the world "still suffer the anguish of bondage in twentieth century duplicates of ancient Egypt."

Louis Lipsky, chairman of the American Zionist Council, stated: "The ancient festival takes on a larger significance in our day. A free State of Israel now opens its doors to the homeless and persecuted of the Jewish people and is engaged in the fulfillment of the Promise, with the cooperation of all Jews living in the free world. It is the duty of such Jews who live in the free world to accept the responsibilities arising out of our freedom and to help the state through its present difficulties to assure security and peace for all Israel in our day."

A similar message was issued by the Zionist Organization of America. Benjamin Browdy stressed that "Passover this year brings to the fore" Israel’s battle for freedom form economic want and dependence. The Jewish National Fund, through its president, Dr. Harris J. Levine, pointed out that American Jews have become the "chief source of aid in the great historic process of the in-gathering of the exiles which to hundreds of thousands of Jews from all corners of the earth means redemption from slavery."

Hundreds of ex-Christians, men, women and children who accept themselves as members of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, will gather at the two altar compounds–one at West Olive, Michigan, the other at Wilbur, West Virginia–and offer up lambs according to the ancient Biblical customs. The new Israelites have embraced the Old Testament Mosaic faith.

Recommended from JTA