The Jewish War Veterans of the USA is deeply saddened by the passing of U.S. Senator John S. McCain III. Senator McCain, the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was a strong supporter of our nation’s military personnel and of our veterans. National Commander Dr. Barry S. Schneider said, “Senator McCain will be sorely missed by the military and veterans community! He will always be remembered as a hero of our country.” Following five and a half years as a POW in North Vietnam, Senator McCain served as a two-term U.S. congressman and six-term U.S. senator from Arizona.
Archive for month: August, 2018
(Washington, DC) Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A. (JWV) was extremely shocked by the announcement that President Trump will travel to Paris to mark Veterans Day. We urge the President to remain in the United States for our National Veterans Day activities.
Veterans Day was originally created to celebrate Armistice Day, which is the end of World War I, and with the 100th anniversary of the armistice rapidly approaching, it is undeniable that we must acknowledge the sacrifices that World War I American soldiers made for this country. On Veterans Day, we must also celebrate the service of LIVING soldiers and sailors.
We request that President Trump leads the ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery by laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and being with the National VSO leaders on the dais for the ceremonies at Arlington. Afterwards, we request that he attend the VSO reception with members of VSOs around the country. From those leaders, President Trump will surely hear about the heroism and sacrifices that Americans made during World War I and continue to make today.
The Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) is delighted to announce that Dr. Barry J. Schneider was elected National Commander at its 123rd Annual National Convention in Tampa, Florida.
National Commander Schneider is a retired Air Force Major with 20 years of active military service. His assignments included NORAD IG Team, Combat Crew Commander, and Instructor Crew Commander and Standardization Evaluator for both Titan II and Minuteman Strategic Missile Weapon Systems. He graduated from the Squadron Officers school, Air Command & Staff College, Command Staff Officers course and Defense Institute for Security Assistance Management.
Barry worked for the Fort Worth Independent School District for 16 years, serving as a Central Office Administrator in the Human Resources Department, and became a Certified Records Manager. He completely revamped the procedure for maintaining and preserving employee records for the FWISD.
In 1994, Barry joined Jewish War Veterans Post 755 in Fort Worth, TX, and became a life member. Barry served as Post Commander from 2005-2007 and went on to serve as commander of the Department of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma (TALO) from 2012-2014. At the national level, he has served as Chairman of JWV’s Vietnam Veterans Committee and Scouting Committee, and Vice-Chairman of the Youth Achievement Committee.
Barry has been a lifelong Boy Scout. As a youth, he earned the Eagle Scout award and the Ner Tamid Jewish religious emblem. As an adult, he served as Assistant District Commissioner for BSA Transatlantic Council in Turkey and Morocco. He was awarded the Silver Beaver award for sustained exemplary service and the Shofar Jewish religious award for service to Jewish Scouting.
The Jewish Community is paramount to Barry. He was selected as the B’nai B’rith Jewish Person of the Year for Fort Worth and Tarrant County in 2010. He has served as President of Temple Beth Shalom in Arlington, TX, President of the Fort Worth chapter of B’nai B’rith, and Campaign Chairman and President of the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County.
Barry earned a BA in History from California State College in 1967, MEd in Guidance and Counseling from South Dakota State University in 1976, MA in Management from Webster University in 1986, and Ed.D in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University in 1996.
Barry was born and raised in St. Louis, MO. He was married to Dolores (Finkelstein) for 49 years. Dolores passed away in 2015. They have two children, daughter Myla and son Eric and two grandchildren. Myla and her husband Gary have two children, Eli and Coby.
We wish Barry a successful year!
Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead In the Oval Office, from left, are Vice President Mike Pence, Jose Reyes, Vincent Quiñonez (Victor’s father, a Marine & Afghanistan vet), Victor Quiñonez, President Donald Trump, Karen Rodriquez (Victor’s mother), Sandi Reyes, Anthony Quiñonez (Victor’s younger brother), Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Ronald Green, and White House Chief-of-Staff Gen. John Kelly.
By Steve Krant, Post 256 Commander
Jose Luis Reyes, a Vietnam combat-tested Marine and member of Dallas’ Jewish War Veterans Post 256, recently experienced a whirlwind trip to Washington, DC and the White House. The events leading-up to a meeting in the Oval Office began with an incident involving his grand- nephew, Victor Quiñonez, a high school student in Pico Rivera, a rural community southeast of Los Angeles.
Victor, from a family with a long history of military service (11 Marines and counting), came to class one late January day wearing a Marine Corps sweatshirt, his intended destination after graduation. That apparently triggered one of his teachers, Gregory Salcido, into launching a profanity-laced anti-military rant. He told his captive class of seniors that service members are “the frickin’ lowest of the low … desperate [and with] no other options,” and derided Victor in particular for bragging about his “damned Uncle Louie (Jose Reyes).”
Victor covertly recorded the tirade on his phone; a relative later posted it to social media, where it went viral almost immediately. The “Salcido Incident” caught the attention and ire of veteran groups throughout the country, and especially that of John Kelly, the retired four-star Marine general and Chief of Staff to President Donald Trump. Kelly promptly extended an invitation to Victor and his family to visit the White House and Pentagon as a token of his appreciation for Victor’s resolve and patriotism, as well as to honor Jose’s service and leadership by example.
Since the incident occurred, we found out that Salcido has since been fired by the school district. In a report released on April 18th, Mr. Salcido was found to follow a pattern of bullying where his students were white, asian, pro-military, christian or gay. In addition, pornographic pictures were found on his work computer. However, Mr. Salcido is still currently serving as a Councilman for the City of Pico Rivera, but there is a recall petition in progress.
On Feb. 23, Victor and Jose, accompanied by family members, toured the White House, escorted by Vice President Mike Pence and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Ronald Green. The Sergeant Major offered to be Victor’s personal recruiter when he graduates. Highlighting their visit was a stop in the Oval Office for a chat and photo opportunity with President Trump. As a sign of pride in his Jewish War Veterans’ membership, Jose wore his Post cap throughout the day’s activities, even in the Oval Office. Afterward, the group received a VIP tour of the Pentagon and visited the nearby National Museum of American Jewish Military History, co-located with JWV’s National Headquarters. On March 25, Jose, shared the experience with his fellow JWV Post 256 members, the post Auxiliary, and guests at the group’s monthly lox and bagel breakfast at the Aaron Family JCC.
Volume 72. Number 2. Summer 2018
By Jerry Alperstein, Post 1 Commander
Purim was celebrated at the Manhattan VA Medical Center [VAMC] on Purim morning, March 1, with the reading of the Purim Megillah, live Purim music by the MazelTones and hamentashen. The event was organized by VAMC Jewish Chaplain Rabbi Andrew Scheer and was sponsored by Jewish War Veterans [JWV] Manhattan-Cooper-Lieutenant Colonel Larry Epstein-Florence Greenwald Post 1, the oldest veterans echelon in the United States.
The Megillah reading has been an annual occurrence at the VAMC for many decades. JWV has been sponsoring the event for approximately the last 15 years by providing the Megillah books, the groggers and the hamentashen. Approximately 25 people attended the Megillah reading, which included Post 1 members and patrons as well as VAMC staff and patients. Among JWV members and patrons attending were National Executive Committee member Jerry Alperstein, Sara Alperstein, Seymour Beder, Jonah Berman, Michael Henken, Robert Iskowitz, Mitchell Mernick, Harold Schaeffer, Simon Spiegelman and JWV Department of New York Hospital Committee Chair Mort Weinstein. The Megillah reader was David Waxman, a member of our community.
Following the Megillah reading, five flavors of hamentashen [apricot, chocolate, mango, pomegranate and raspberry] were served while two members of the MazelTones of New York Band, including Jerry Alperstein on trumpet, performed Purim music. Among the VAMC staff attending from the Chaplaincy Department in addition to Rabbi Scheer were Chaplain Elizabeth Putnam and Chaplain Intern Harold Ng. After the hamentashen eating and Purim music were completed, a Post 1 meeting was held at the VA including the election and installation of officers for the 2018-2019 year.
Volume 72. Number 2. Summer 2018
By LTC (ret) Sheldon Goldberg, Post 692
On 27 May, Post 692 held its third annual Memorial Day program at the American-Jewish Veterans Memorial on the grounds of the Bender Jewish Community Center in Rockville,Maryland. Approximately 50 friends and members of the local Jewish Community attended the program. Among the honored guests were Mr. Robert Finn, Maryland’s Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs who presented acting Post Commander Walter Gold with a Proclamation from the Governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan. Also present was Mr. Randy Stone, Vice Chair of the Montgomery County Commission on Veterans, Colonel Erwin Burtnick, Commander, Department of Maryland, JWV, and Chief Scott Goldstein, Chief of the Montgomery County Volunteer Fire Department representing County Executive Isiah Leggett.
Rabbi Moishe Kavka gave the invocation and Rabbi Paul Levenson, a WW II Army chaplain, sang El Moleh at the conclusion. Lt Col. Sheldon Goldberg, (USAF, Ret) Docent/Historian at the National Museum of American Jewish Military History was the keynote speaker. Vocalist Kassie Sandacz, president of Voices of Vets opened the program with the National Anthem and ended it with God Bless America.
Following the outdoor program, the video True Honor, the story of Jewish Medal of Honor recipients was screened for those in attendance. The screening was preceded by a short history of the Medal of Honor and afterward, Col. Goldberg provided a brief description of the actions of several of the early Jewish Medal of Honor recipients that did not appear in the video.
Volume 72. Number 2. Summer 2018
By Steven Troy
In the late afternoon on Saturday April 7th Scottsdale Post 210 of the Jewish War Veterans (JWV) of the United States of America celebrated the last day of Passover 2018 with Jewish Veterans at the Arizona State Veterans Home in Phoenix. Of the three Jewish residents only two were available to attend the Seder. This is the fourth Passover Seder that Post 210 has held at the Veterans Home. The Seder was led by Michael and Ahuva Chambers and began with a short Havdalah Service (Havdalah is Hebrew for “separation” and refers to the verbal declaration made at the end of Shabbat), followed by the traditional following of the Passover Haggadah. The Haggadah follows our exodus from Egypt and our escape from slavery more than 3,000 years ago. The Veterans attending the service were Jay Lowenthal and Larry Chesin. Post 210 members attending were Juli Altman, Jonathan Sorrell, Bernie Kaplan, Fred & Terry Lipovitch, Michael & Ahuva Chambers, Commander Rochel Hayman, & Steven Troy. The kitchen at the Veterans Home prepared the Passover meal that consisted of chicken soup, gefilte fish, baked chicken and potatoes and of course matzos. The Seder was enjoyed by all and Post 210 will continue to hold them at the Veterans Home as long as there are Jewish Veterans there.
Sunday April 8, Scottsdale Post 210 of the Jewish War Veterans (JWV) of the United States of America Presented the Colors at the Community-Wide Yom Hashoah Commemoration that was held at Beth El Congregation. It is observed as a day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust as a result of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany and its collaborators, and for the Jewish resistance in that period. This event was presented by the Phoenix Holocaust Survivors Association. The Holocaust Survivors led the procession into the packed hall followed by JWV Commander Rochel Hayman leading the Color Guard which consisted of Michael Chambers carrying the American Flag and Fred Lipovitch carrying the Israeli Flag. The service following was very heartfelt and reiterated the need for everyone to remember what happened and to ensure it happens “NEVER AGAIN”.
Volume 72. Number 2. Summer 2018
By Dr. Jerry Field Post 710 Commander
Just three months ago, the Illinois JWV Posts assigned a small group of members to begin a massive program to undertake the management of the JWV JROTC program in Chicago. The JROTC team consists of: Dr. Jerry Field, Post 710 Cmdr. team leader; Robert F. Nussbaum, Dept. Cmdr.; Jeffery Sacks, Post 153 Cmdr.; Bruce Mayor, Post 54 Cmdr.: and Howard Goldstein, Past Post 54 Cmdr.
Leading the group is Dr. Jerry Field, Commander, Chicago Lakeview Post 710 who had worked as a civilian resource for the JROTC and the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). He is familiar with the current Chicago JROTC command as well as the ROTC Chicago area Commander.
In just three weeks, the program was approved by Colonel Daniel Baggio, CPS commander of the 14 school unit with 11,000 JROTC cadets. All schools were contacted; more than a dozen schools welcomed the addition of the JWV program to their graduation ceremony and our participation in the JROTC Honors Award Program. Most JROTC cadet units have their own graduation at a formal Military Ball.
One deserving cadet from each unit is awarded a Bronze Achievement Medal, the corresponding Bar Ribbon and two copies of the JWV certificate, one for the cadet to keep at home and another suitable for attaching to their college entrance applications.
At each Military Ball, a member of JWV Illinois is there to present the award. In detailing the parameters of the award, it is stressed that a Cadet does not have to be Jewish to merit the award. They are recommended by the Cadre Commander who forwards the pertinent information about the cadet, the unit and the Cadre Commander to Dr. Field. This begins the process of printing the certificate and ordering the medal and ribbon. The certificate, medal and bar ribbon are delivered to the JWV member who makes the presentation at the awards ceremony.
Six JROTC schools participated this year, and next year all 14 schools will participate in the program. The CPS System has one Navy, one Marine, ten Army units and two military academies.
JWV was instrumental in naming the Navy unit at Senn High School the Admiral Hyman Rickover Naval JROTC High School.
Illinois Commander Robert F. Nussbaum, said “this is another effort of behalf of the Illinois JWV to become more involved with our community, especially the military segment. We found that the program gives us an opportunity meet the parents of the Jewish cadets and ask them to join JWV. As a result of this opportunity, a couple of donors called Patrons joined JWV as they felt that the $50.00 annual membership dues was a good investment on behalf of their cadet.
The JROTC also participated in the annual dinner for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) this year.
This is just one of several ways designed by our outreach committee to become more involved in our community. In addition, the Department participates every year in several region-wide Jewish events.
Volume 72. Number 2. Summer 2018
By Samuel Levy, Post 601
Jewish War Veterans Memorial Post No. 601 honored four top scholar/athletes from Cumberland County High School, on Sunday, June 3, at the 45th Annual Olympiad Awards Breakfast, at Beth Israel Congregation, in Vineland, NJ.
The ceremony, catered and co-sponsored by the Beth Israel Congregation’s Men’s Club, has been held each year since 1974 to memorialize the nine Israeli athletes who were brutally murdered by Arab terrorists at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. It publicly recognizes and honors the top scholar/athlete seniors from the five county high schools. Jewish War Veterans Memorial Post 601 member Gerald Batt emceed the ceremony.
This year’s winners and the sports in which they specialized in addition to their scholastics were: Alesandro Valdez (football, winter and spring track), Bridgeton High School; Sara Loew (cross-country, winter and spring track), Cumberland Regional High School; Morgan Giordano (girls soccer, girls basketball), Millville High School; and Tess Fisher (tennis), Vineland High School.
Each received commendations and proclamations at the ceremony from national, state, county, and local officials.
The winners, according to Stephen Paull, Commander of Jewish War Veterans Memorial Post 601, are selected by their respective schools, based on both scholastic and athletic achievements, as well as leadership, cooperation, civic contributions, and all-around good citizenship. The schools rely on input from guidance counselors, teachers, athletic directors, coaches, and principals. The winning students must be seniors, must have lettered in two or more varsity sports, and must be considered prime examples of good citizenship and leadership.
The students are all near or at the top of their classes. A number of past winners have been valedictorians and several have won appointments to various United States service academies.
The Beth Israel Congregation Men’s Club has been catering this breakfast since the event’s inception.
“We are proud and honored to have been part of this annual tradition for so long—an event that calls the public’s attention to our outstanding youngsters in the community who are true role models,” said Men’s Club President Elliot Terris. “Our Men’s Club, which has had many Jewish War Veterans as members, has done much over the years for our synagogue, our Jewish community, and the community at large—not only on our own, but also collaborating with other organizations such as the Jewish War Veterans.”
Paull said the students being recognized present a fine example for the future.
“The origins of this ceremony came out of a great tragedy of terrorism and murder. The students honored over the years at this ceremony are examples of the kindness and goodness that we hope will replace hatred,” he said. “We hope that they, in turn, will be the parents of and advocates for outstanding scholar/athletes honored at a future Olympiad Awards ceremony.”
Volume 72. Number 2. Summer 2018
By PNC COL (ret) Carl Singer
I wanted to briefly tell you about Alvin Sussman. I’m humble and proud to call Alvin my friend – to me he represents the “Greatest Generation.” Alvin is a World War II combat veteran who, like many, came home from the war and then helped build this great nation.
2016: Alvin and I met over lunch – he has quite a story to tell. Alvin is a sharp dresser, soft spoken, articulate. He doesn’t like to talk about himself, but I learned that Alvin was a most successful entertainment executive. He headed Group W Productions at Westinghouse. Among his many credits are two popular variety shows, “The Merv Griffin Show” and “The Mike Douglas Show.” And I learned more.
1944: The Battle of the Bulge. Alvin was a young rifleman with G Company, 424 Regiment, 106th Infantry Division — he survived the frozen Ardennes Forest and the German attack that intelligence said would not happen. He has vivid memories and paints a gripping, first hand picture of that historic time – 41 days in hell.
2010: One more thing about Alvin – he is driven. He works hard to get what he wants. Alvin wanted a monument to commemorate the Battle of the Bulge. Many thought it was a pipe dream – not Alvin. He persisted and raised over $15,000. He worked with the mayor and city council of his town and they donated park land for this monument.
Here’s a picture. Alvin, job well done!
Volume 72. Number 2. Summer 2018
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