06 February 2010

A First

From The Sydney Morning Herald on this day in 1936:


Innovation in the Queen Mary.

By Air Mail.

LONDON, Jan. 18.
The Queen Mary, Britain's great liner, which will make her maiden voyage in May, is to be the first ship in the world to have a synagogue. Other ships have rooms which are sometimes temporarily converted into synagogues, but in the Queen Mary the synagogue will be permanent, and the space will be used for no other purpose except Jewish religious worship.

The synagogue will hold about 50 worshippers. It will be some 20 feet square, and, although in miniature, will be complete in every detail. Inscriptions in Hebrew will be inlaid in wooden letters round the top of the panelling. Special wood has been brought from the dominions for this purpose. The ceiling will be in cerulean blue picked out in gold. The fittings will include a carved reading desk, and the Holy Ark in miniature, which will be made from oak, macassar, and ebony.

The Queen Mary's engineers have arranged for the Jewish Nair-Tomid, or perpetual Light of Remembrance, to be lit electrically on a special circuit so that it will never go out. The fitting holding the light is to be in hand-wrought bronze.

The temple is being arranged so that high festivals, as well as ordinary Sabbath services, can be celebrated. The design has been passed by the Jewish Council of Beth-din, as well as by the Cunard-White Star authorities.


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