State Hospital Jewish Rites Inaugurated, 1961

State Hospital Jewish Rites Inaugurated, 1961

The following was published in the Oregon Statesman newspaper on April 3, 1961, page 2.

Jewish Passover services with traditional ceremonial Seder dinner was observed Sunday night at the Oregon State Hospital for patients of that faith and their guests.  It is the first time a Jewish religious observance has been held at the institution, hospital authorities said.

They termed it a “complete success” and hospital protestant chaplain John M. Humphreys said: “we’re hoping to be able to hold more Jewish services in the future.”

The Jewish festival, commemorating exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and their safe flight across the Red Sea, was sponsored by the Jewish Family and Children Service of Portland.  Nine of the 17 Jewish patients at the hospital attended.

The ceremony was headed by Asher Ettinger, director of the Portland Hebrew School. Seder dinners continue throughout the world during the eight days of Passover. Each special dish symbolizes an ordeal undergone by the Israelites during the period of their enslavement in Egypt.