PASSOVER SERVICES AT SAMPSON
Sampson, N.Y. April 21 1943
The U.S. Naval Training Station here was the scene Monday of two Jewish services marking the beginning of the Passover season. The first of these was a pre-Passover broadcast over the facilities of the Columbia Broadcasting System in the Station Auditorium, which was sent by short wave to the fleet and men of Jewish faith in the American armed services all over the world.
The second was the Seder Service held in one of the six large mess halls on the station, at which more than 1200 Jewish officers and sailors were gathered together to participate in this traditional observance of the opening of the festival of freedom. It was the first time that so large a group of Jewish men had ever come together on a U.S. Naval station for any religious service.
The pre-passover broadcast was on the air from 3:30 to 4:00 p.m., eastern war time, and featured talks by Captain Harry A. Badt, USN, Commandant, and by Rabbi Philip Bernstein, of New York, executive director of the Jewish Welfare Board Committee on Army and Navy Religious Activities. Sergeant Barney Ross, former lightweight and welterweight boxing champion of the world and hero of Marine action on Guadalcanal, was also on the program, his voice being picked up from Cleveland.
The service was conducted by Lieut. H. J. Berkowitz, (ChC) USNR, Jewish chaplain who has just arrived on the Station. A choir of Temple Brith Kodesh, from Rochester, N.Y., provided music.
Capt Badt extended his greetings to Jewish sailors and their families, pointing out that the granting of leaves to men of the Jewish faith to permit them to observe Passover with their families could not consistently be made on this occasion, as has customarily been done in peacetime.