Quick Click: Vignettes from the Jewish News, April 23, 2015
With Pesach now past and Shavuot on the horizon, here’s an interesting tidbit of information about this feast of unleavened bread happening where you might not expect a Pesach seder to take place. A plane; a submarine? No! The correct answer is in a Michigan prison!
In March 1942, the Detroit Jewish News published an article on the first kosher seder to be held in Jackson prison. For the first time in the history of Michigan State prisons, kosher food was supplied to the Jewish inmates of Jackson State penitentiary for Passover.
The prison’s first Jewish chaplain, Rabbi Joshua S. Sperka, who gained special permission to bring in kippot and prayer books, as well as several kosher Passover delicacies, made this possible.
This historic first kosher seder, held on April 5, 1942, was officiated by Cantor Abraham Singer of Congregation B’nai David.
So next year, when you sit down and once again embark on the journey that is the feast of unleavened bread, remember that seders are taking place all over the world in some very not-so- common places.
Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at www.djnfoundation.org.
By Adam Mosseri, Detroit Jewish News Foundation Fellow