djn-1945-09-14-0-015How did you celebrate Rosh Hashanah? At home? With family and friends? Lauren Ann Davies, the editor for the Jewish News Foundation’s Facebook page, discovered an interesting story in the William Davidson Digital Archives about Rosh Hashanah celebrations from 70 years ago.

On Sept. 14, 1945, the Jewish News published a full page of stories under the headline “How World’s Jews Celebrated Rosh Hashanah.” The page included short bits on the activities of Jews in Moscow, London, Sofia, Bucharest, Rome, Warsaw and elsewhere in Europe.

The featured item that caught our eyes was the story of 1,500 Jews in the American military holding services in a B-29 Bomber hangar on the little island of Guam, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. They had a lot to celebrate. Those servicemen had survived World War II, which had ended with the surrender of the Japanese Empire in August that year.

Their work was over, and the B-29s were no longer flying combat missions. They prayed for a new year with “Peace to him that is far off and to him that is near.” ■

Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at

By Mike Smith, Detroit Jewish News Foundation Archivist