WWI Jewish Chaplain

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What can you see?

We can see a notice to Jewish soldiers on a rectangular card. We can see writing on this card that states no leave can be arranged for the soldiers during Passover. Look closely what do you see?

What do we know?

This notice was written by Michael Adler warning the Jewish soldiers that there will be no leave for the Jewish soldiers during Passover. Michael Adler was born in Spitalfields, London, in 1968 where he attended Jews collage and University collage London. At the age of 22 he was appointed minister of the Hammersmith and West Kensington Synagogue. He was the first ever Jewish Chaplain during the First World War. This was a huge turning point in Jewish history as no one would offer Jewish services in the British army before this. Therefore, he was a very influential person to Jews.

What do we wonder?

We might wonder how the Jews felt about WW1? We might wonder how many British Jews were fighting in the war? What do you wonder?

Object File

Name: A Notice to Jewish Soldiers at the Front. The Feast of Passover April 7th to April 14th 1917 from Rev. Michael Adler

Date: April 7th to April 14th 1917

Object number: JMM T2013.222.2

Materials: Card

Size(cm): Height-20.2 X Width-12.9

Created by: Rev. Michael Adler

In January 1915 Adler went to France to assess the need of a Jewish Chaplain at the front. He said he would wear the Magen David (Star of David) to make him easily recognisable to other Jews. He then went back to London to explain why the army needed a chaplain.

It was important for many Jews to still continue to practice their faith during the war. Many Jewish recruits would build succot, don tefillin and observe the High Holy days. Services would be held in villages several miles from the trenches to which they would attend straight after battle. This shows the war didn’t stop many Jewish people from keeping to their Jewish traditions.

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