SFC Christopher Celiz. Photo Credit: US Army.

By Anna Selman, Programs and Public Relations Coordinator

WASHINGTON – Over the summer, we lost another one of our brothers in arms.  Sergeant First Class (SFC) Christopher Celiz, a member of the 1st Battalion of 75th Ranger Regiment, died July 12 of wounds suffered as a result of enemy small-arms fire in eastern Afghanistan’s Paktiya province.  He was 32.

“While conducting combat operations in Paktiya province, Celiz was wounded by enemy small arms fire,” stated a U.S. Army Special Operations Command press release. “He was treated immediately and medically evacuated to the nearest medical treatment facility where he died of his wounds.”  He was part of a team of Army Rangers supporting the CIA in an intensifying effort to kill or capture top militant targets.

“The 75th Ranger Regiment suffered a tremendous loss with the passing of SFC Chris Celiz,” Col. Brandon Tegtmeier, the 75th Ranger Regiment’s commander, said in the release. “Chris was a national treasure who led his Rangers with passion, competence, and an infectiously positive attitude no matter the situation. He will be greatly missed.”

Celiz deployed from 2008 to 2009 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and from 2011 to 2012 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). He was on his fifth deployment with 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment when he was killed. He deployed to war zones a total of seven times with the U.S. Army.

Celiz was born in 1986 in South Carolina, and he was a native of Summerville, SC.  He attended Summerville High School, where he participated in JROTC.  According to one of his JROTC battle buddies, they would spend weekends together competing at drill meets and hanging out at one another’s homes.  It was at Summerville High School where he also met the love of his life, with whom he shared an 8 year old daughter.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army in September 2007 after completing two years at the Citadel. In 2013, Celiz was selected to serve with the 75th Ranger Regiment as a combat engineer. He served with 1st Battalion as the Battalion Master Breacher and engineer and then later as a mortar platoon sergeant with Company D.  At the time of his death, Celiz was serving as the battalion mortar platoon sergeant.

Temple Mikve Israel. Photo Credit: Temple Mikve Israel.

“SFC Chris Celiz was a great Ranger leader, and he will be sorely missed by 1st Ranger Battalion. He had an incredibly positive attitude that inspired Rangers throughout the formation,” his battalion commander, LTC Sean McGee, said in the release. “SFC Class Celiz led from the front and always put himself at the decisive point on the battlefield. He was a loving husband and father, and he and his family have been an important part of the fabric that represents 1st Ranger Battalion and the Savannah community.”

His funeral took place Wednesday afternoon at Congregation Mickve Israel in historic Savannah. Flags were lowered at half-staff throughout the state in his honor.  Hundreds of mourners filled a Savannah, Georgia, synagogue to remember a Jewish soldier killed in action in Afghanistan on July 12.

“When Rob got on the plane to come home for R&R, SFC Chris Celiz shook his hand and told him to have fun and be safe. Rob said, “See you in a few weeks.” Unfortunately, Rob would not see him again. Operation Enduring Freedom began 17 years ago and it seems many have forgotten we are still in Afghanistan, or have become desensitized to that fact. Young men and women are still risking their lives every day, and this young man, a husband and father, lost his life. We cannot forget their sacrifices, or the family they leave behind,” said Kelley, a spouse of a Ranger in the 75th Regiment.

The Governor of South Carolina, Henry McMaster, ordered flags at half-staff on July 18th.  “As you look at the flag today and see it at half-staff, please take a moment to remember Sergeant First Class Christopher A. Celiz, who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country in Afghanistan, and pray for his family and friends as they, and our entire state, mourn his loss,” McMaster wrote on Facebook.

The Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A. (JWV) mourns the death of SFC Christopher Celiz, and we promise to remind the Jewish community about his service and to remind the world that Jews have and will continue to proudly serve the United States – some, like Celiz, have given their lives.  This Veterans’ Day, we will be reminding Jewish communities around the country that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are continuing to this day, and we have soldiers, like Celiz, who are still dying to protect our freedom.  It is our duty to remember them and to tell the next generation of their sacrifice.

Ben Kinsley Playing Adolf Eichmann, Photo Credit – MGM Pictues

By Harrison Heller, Membership Coordinator

WASHINGTON – On June 1, 1962 Adolf Eichmann was hanged in Ramla, Israel. His body was later cremated, and his ashes were spread at sea, so there would be no memorial. But how did this happen? How did a Nazi get to Israel to be tried by the people he so wanted to destroy? The film Operation Finale tells this incredible story.

To understand the film, you must understand Eichmann’s past and how he got to Argentina. Eichmann was born in Germany on Mach 19, 1906 to a blue-collar family. Eichmann was not the strongest student while attending school, so he eventually dropped-out and began working in his father’s mining company in Austria. In 1932 he joined the Nazi Party and the SS, where he rapidly rose through the ranks.

In 1933, Eichmann was recalled to Germany where he was appointed the head of the Department of Jewish Affairs. His primary focus was emigration, he arranged for Jews to leave Germany and the German Reich. To ensure this, he finalized the “taxes” that the Jews and their families had to pay. This money went straight into his pocket. In September 1939, he drew up the plans for the organized ghettos across the major cities of Europe. His hopes were to build a Jewish reservation in Far East Russia and in Madagascar. He wanted to have the main transportation center in Nisko (southeast Poland). These plans were to never be carried out.

From The Jewish Veteran in December 1960.

After the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, representatives from several Nazi government ministries arrived for a meeting, known as the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942. Reinhard Heydrich and his new lieutenant, Adolf Eichmann, shared their new plan for solving the “Jewish problem”. They laid out their plans for “The Final Solution”, organized railroads that lead to extermination camps, where death was manufactured. Eichmann was credited for designing the railway network and gas chambers. He noted that the gas chambers would make it easier for the troops to carry out their “orders” of mass murder. At the height of the Holocaust, the commandant of Auschwitz-Birkenau said, “He was sending more human freight than I can kill.”

May 1945, World War II was over. Eichmann was captured by American forces. Using forged documents, he went under the identity of Otto Eckmann. Realizing that SS officers had tattoos under their arms, he had his forcibly removed before escaping. He fled to Austria where he hid in relative safety for five years, before fleeing to Argentina. 1950’s Argentina was a safe haven for many Nazi war criminals, due to the fascist sympathetic government of President Juan Perón. (1997: a DAIA, Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas, investigation discovers 22,000 documents that proves a “network” managed by Rodolfo Freude, advisor to the President. Freude had an office in the Casa Rosada (the President’s official residence) and was close to Eva Perón’s (Evita) brother, Juan Duarte). Operation Finale picks-up ten years after Eichmann’s arrival in Buenos Aires.

Sightings of Eichmann in Argentina began as early as 1958. Messages were being sent to Mossad, and they were being paid very little attention to, as Mossad was paying more attention to future matters. As more sightings came in, they saw the urgency to capture the fugitive war criminal. In May 1960, a plan was hatched to smuggle Eichmann out of Argentina. Israel knew going in that the Perón government would not extradite Eichmann for a trial in Israel. Coincidently, this was also the time of Argentina’s 150th anniversary of their revolution against Spain. Tourists were coming in from all over the world. Mossad agents snuck into Buenos Aires and began monitoring Eichmann at his home on Garibaldi Street in San Fernando (about 20 miles north of Buenos Aires). They took notes of the neighborhood and his commute to and from his work at a Mercedes-Benz factory. On May 11, the agents posed as stranded tourists with a broken-down car. They see Eichmann exiting a bus and making his way towards them. One of the agents bumps him and asks him for a cigarette. 3 agents tackle Eichmann to the ground and subdue him. Once arriving at a safe house, the Mossad agents ask for his name, and he replies “Roberto Clement”. An agent asks him in German, “Wie heifsen Sie?” Eichmann says, “Ich bin Adolf Eichmann” (“I am Adolf Eichmann”).

The agents had to wait another 9 days before smuggling Eichmann out. During this time, they had to get a sworn statement from him saying that he is willing to stand trial in Israel. On multiple occasions he refused. One of the agents was able to work with Eichmann and got him to sign. Upon signing, they dressed Eichmann up in an El-Al pilot’s uniform and drugged him, to appear drunk after a night out in Buenos Aires. On May 23, 1960, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion announces to the world that Israel has captured Adolf Eichmann.

April 11, 1961 the trial of Adolf Eichmann begins, and becomes the first trial to be televised in history. He was charged with 15 crimes, which include: crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people, and various war crimes. On December 15 he was found guilty on all counts and was sentenced to death. On May 31, 1962 Eichmann was hanged and cremated in a custom oven. His ashes were thrown to sea.

Operation Finale was a great film. There are some parts of the story where Hollywood took their liberties, but it was to help the pacing of the film. The film features a great young actor in Oscar Isaac and comedian Nick Kroll. Sir Ben Kingsley picks up the roll of Adolf Eichmann. Kingsley, known for such roles as Ghandi, Otto Frank, Yitzhak Stern, tells the Associated Press, “… didn’t portray Adolf Eichmann out of love or admiration. Rather, he wanted to ‘nail him to the gates of Auschwitz.’”

Volume 72. Number 3. Fall 2018

Air Force Space Commander Headquarters, Photo Credit – Air Force Times

By PNC Carl Singer

NEW JERSEY – The United States military must have a well-defined mission and capability in space.  Briefly the military needs to consider both offensive and defensive requirements.

  • Space is the high ground for observation – satellite imagery and sensors provides valuable information.
  • Space is a communications platform – many forms of communication and GPS rely on space-based satellites.
  • Space possibly can serve as a weapons platform.
  • We need to defend against disruption of the above space-based capabilities / assets.

I’ve jumped the gun – what is “space” – where does “earth” or “sky” end and where does “space” start?  This is an interesting boundary question.  Is it the troposphere?  Is it the stratosphere?  Does it matter?

Force Structure:

Purdue Graduate Neil Armstrong

By design, there is significant specialization and capability overlap within the United States Military.  For example, the mission against Osama bin Laden which took place over 750 miles from the nearest ocean, was conducted by Navy Seals.  Recently Air Force Tech. Sgt. John Chapman, a combat controller, posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his efforts in ground combat saving the lives of Army Rangers in Afghanistan.  Ted Williams, as some of you may recall, was a pilot – in the Marine Corps.  Similarly planes that take off from aircraft carriers belong to the Navy, not the Air Force.

Those of you who are members of the greatest generation remember that during World War II there were only three branches of service:  the Army, The Navy and the Marine Corps.  (Note: the Marine Corps was tethered to the Navy for much of its logistic support.)  Not to be overlooked there was also the Coast Guard and the Merchant Marines whose wartime roles were significant.  You will note that there was no Air Force.  There was, of course, the Army Air Corps.

On September 18, 1947 after considerable analysis and planning The National Security Act of 1947 established the Department of Defense with the Joint Chiefs of Staff (to replace the War Department and the Navy Department) and also the U.S. Air Force as a separate branch of service.

Here is the question that needs deep analysis – is the above mission best accomplished by a separate “Space Force” or by levying these requirements on the Air Force and the other branches?

Currently the Air Force has ten distinct commands, including:  the Air Combat Command, the Air Force Material Command, and the Air Mobility Command.  And, yes, the Air Force has the Air Force Space Command!  Its mission is the “Development and operation of military space and cyberspace technologies.”

Would the mission be better accomplished with a separate branch of service?  In a word, NO!  The integration, interdependence and cooperation among the various commands would be severely hampered.  There is nowhere near the critical mass appropriate to warrant the creation of a separate branch – the Space Force.  Perhaps twenty years from now there will be a need to spawn a space force – similarly to the transition of the Army Air Corps to the Air Force – but that time is not now.  The Space Force idea is lots of sizzle, no steak.

 Volume 72. Number 3. Fall 2018

Post: JWV Post 243 FL

Military Service: 1993-2017

Current Residence: Miami, Florida

Member Since Year: 2002

  1. When and why did you serve in the military?

Back in 1993 I was twenty years old, working full-time as a cashier in a major supermarket while also going to school full-time. When I lost my job, I lost my means to pay for my education. So, I set out to find my next work opportunity. I happened upon a recruiting office for the New Jersey Army National Guard, already somewhat aware of the monetary benefits. Three days later I was swearing in. I left for Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, SC two months after that, followed by Advanced Individual Training in Fort Gordon, GA. The lifestyle fit me so well that when I became eligible, I transferred into the Regular Army, never looking back.

  1. How did you get introduced to JWV?

When I was stationed at Ft Monmouth, NJ, someone made me aware. I don’t remember the conversation or circumstances.

  1. What is a program that JWV offers, in which you would like to be more involved with, and why?

I am definitely focusing my time on increasing membership. I’m using my platform to improve relations with the local JROTC programs, supporting the US Navy Sea Cadet Corps (USNSCC) Training Division NAS Richmond, and advertising with social media and actual shaking hands with folks.

  1. What is an American tradition that makes you the proudest?

Seeing our National Colors flying in the local communities, where it is not a requirement but a choice.

  1. What is the best military Jewish holiday story you got?

Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, 2007. As the Jewish Lay Leader, my Company Commander was able to secure everything we needed for Passover services, including some Manischewitz. He led the seder, we all embraced the significance of the moment, and finished off the wine.

  1. What is your favorite movie about the military? Did it relate with your experience in the military?

I don’t have a “favorite” military movie, I don’t enjoy them as I once did. But the last military movie I watched was American Sniper, and it was pretty spot on. Definitely relatable to my time in Iraq.

  1. What song gets you pumped up for a work out?

My workout playlist contains Chevelle, System of a Down, Avenged Sevenfold, a few others. Depending on what exercise I’m about to perform determines how much motivation I really need.

Volume 72. Number 3. Fall 2018

Nathan Krissoff with the rescued hostage, Photo Credit: Krissoff Family

By Anna Selman, Programs and Public Relations Coordinator

The story of Nathan and Bill Krissoff is an amazing story, but it is not the typical generational military story that you are likely to hear.   Nowadays, Jewish service members, like the rest of the United States, tend to serve in “generational military families” – that is people who serve tend to have a parent or both parents that serve.  However, the story of the Krissoffs is a bit different.

Nathan Krissoff, a Jewish native of Nevada, joined the Marines after being told that he was too young to work at the CIA – he wanted to be on the “front line” of the Global War on Terror.  Nathan was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps in August of 2004.

In August 2006, First Lieutenant (1LT) Nathan Krissoff and his unit deployed to Iraq.  Shortly after arriving in Iraq, 1LT Krissoff wrote home: “Almost five years to the day after September 11, 2001, I have the chance to put my money where my mouth is in terms of service…. I’m constantly reminded of that famous quote from Tom Hanks’ character at the end of Saving Private Ryan: “Earn this.” Earning it will mean sacrifice, determination, doing my job to the best of my ability. I chose this, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

During his deployment, 1LT Krissoff led a Human Intelligence Exploitation Team sub-team on 8 different battalion operations and participated in 30 combat patrols.  During one mission, his intelligence skills were key to freeing an Iraqi national that was held hostage by terrorists.  On December 9, 2006, 1LT Krissoff volunteered to participate on an intelligence mission in the Al Amiriyah and Al Faris area of Fallujah, Iraq.  As his unit was returning to base, 1LT Krissoff’s vehicle was hit by an IED when the Humvee drove over explosives that had been buried in a dry riverbed. Nathan, who was sitting in the right rear seat, took the brunt of the blast.  He was only 4 months into his 9 month deployment.

His funeral was held in his hometown of Reno, NV.   His brother, Austin, had just graduated for Marine Officer Candidate School when Nathan deployed.  Austin, his parents, grandparents and hundreds of Reno natives were in attendance at Nathan’s funeral.

Lt Cmdr Bill Krissoff official swearing in ceremony, Photo Credit: Task and Purpose

After the funeral, there was a message on Dr. Bill Krissoff’s orthopedic office.  It told patients that Dr. Krissoff was no longer seeing patients because he had joined the U.S. Navy in order to finish his son’s mission to take care of Marines.  This came about after President Bush went to Reno to give a speech months after Nathan had passed away, and he met the Krissoffs afterwards.  President Bush asked the family if there was anything that he could do for him, and Nathan’s father, Bill told him that he wanted to enlist to finish his son’s deployment.

Leaving his profitable practice, Dr. Bill Krissoff was sworn in as a Lieutenant Commander (Lt. Cmdr) in the U.S. Navy in 2007.  After completing his training with the U.S. Navy, Lt. Cmdr Krissoff arrived in Iraq to finish his son’s 7 month deployment.  According to Krissoff, it was a culture shock to be there – the C-130s spiraling in to avoid getting shot, the blast walls surrounding the hospital “like something out of Mad Max.”  Most of the surgeries Krissoff saw weren’t that different from what he was handling back in Truckee – knees and shoulders injured in training.

After weeks from getting back from his deployment to Iraq, Lt. Cmdr Krissoff signed up for another deployment, but this time to Afghanistan.  Krissoff arrived at Camp Bastion in southern Afghanistan as the battle for Marjah was kicking off in February 2010.  In his time in Afghanistan, Krissoff served as the primary or assistant surgeon on 225 serious casualties, including countless amputations.  Marines coming into Bastion with a heartbeat had a 97 percent chance of making it to the next facility alive.

Lt. Cmdr Krissoff continued to serve for six years, and he feels that he did finish what Nathan started.  “In most families, dad inspires sons. In our family, sons inspire dad,” Krissoff said.  One thing is definitely known for sure, Lt. Cmdr Krissoff definitely did “Earn It”.

Volume 72. Number 3. Fall 2018

Lance Wang at Basic Training in 1988.

By Lance Wang, National Editor

A group of tired Infantry Second Lieutenants climbed onto the yellow school buses that were being used for transport them back and forth from their quarters to the field for training.   The year was 1994, and I was at my basic course at Fort Benning, Georgia.   I was a few years older than the rest, having attained the rank of Staff Sergeant prior to going to Officer Candidate School – most of them were straight out of ROTC.   A young blond Lieutenant, a corn-fed middle-America type, sat down next to me on the bus and made some small talk, concluding with an inquiry as to the status of my personal relationship with Jesus Christ.   I politely mentioned that I was Jewish, and was not interested in abandoning my faith.   He paused for a second, clearly not expecting this turn in the conversation.    Then he said something along the lines of Scripture calling for the Christians to “take care of their Jews,” and then remarked that “Jews were great fighters.”

That conversation stuck with me for a while, for that was the first time that I’d heard Jews referred to as “great fighters” from a non-Jew.   More often it was like the line from the eponymous medical drama “House,” where Dr. House makes a wisecrack about the Jewish lack of athletic prowess to Dr. Taub, to which Taub retorts “Sandy Koufax is Jewish.   Greatest left-handed pitcher of all time.”   House then says, “Sandy Koufax is all you Jews go on about…”

Great athletic prowess and “great fighters” are treated as notable exceptions in American-Jewish culture.   I’ve always found this curious.   Where did this become part of the hand-me-down nature of Jewish culture?    How come the stereotypical Jewish mother’s kvelling is “My son, the Doctor,” not “My son, the soldier”?

Lance Wang editing the Jewish Veteran.

This dichotomy is represented in the way the Torah treats Jacob and Esau.    Esau was an outdoorsman, and “a cunning hunter.”   He is described as a hairy infant, covered with red hair, almost animal like.   Jacob is considered simple, quiet, and quite literally, a “Mama’s boy.”   He was different enough from Esau that he needed to cover his arms with animal skins in order to deceive his blind father as to which son he was.   Jacob (Israel) would become the father of the 12 Tribes.    Esau would become the father of the Edomites, but the glory of Israel was not with Esau, the hairy hunter.

Perhaps it was because the Jews found that their culture’s embrace of education, learning, and knowledge was the way to succeed in the many nations that the diaspora found itself in.   Not that there was a lack of skilled tradesmen and soldiers, but a Jewish stereotype rooted in fact was the focus on learning.   This of course led to its own challenges – Koufax was initially deemed “too intellectual” to be a successful baseball pitcher.   When I was a Battalion Operations Officer, I received that same label from one senior officer.    It’s part of being Jewish.    But that same analytical bend turned Koufax into an astute student (one might say pioneer) of the science of pitching.   Ted Williams was the same about hitting – however, Williams didn’t carry the baggage of being a Jew, and was simply treated as, well, a student of the science of hitting.    He was never considered too bookish nor intellectual.

Perhaps a better way to look at our martial inheritance is not the either/or of Jacob and Esau – a better parallel for the Jewish martial strain is King David.   A warrior from younger days when he confronted the mammoth Goliath, he rose to become a warrior, musician, poet, and King.   Although he conquered Jerusalem and helped establish the Kingdom of Israel, he also is considered the author of many Psalms still included in Jewish liturgy.   History is replete with examples of Jews who did both – achieved prominence in the defense of their nation, and then succeeded in numerous other pursuits.

Of course, these representatives of our inheritance as fighters, defenders of our freedom, and servants of our adopted homelands are not well publicized as role models to our own people or outside, hence the need for organizations such as Jewish War Veterans of the United States to remind not only the citizens of our adopted home countries but our fellow Jews that we are, as the young Second Lieutenant told me years ago “great fighters.”   And it is not a choice between intellectual pursuits and martial skill – it is, as in the case of King David, “all of the above.”   JWV exists to remind all that we are the Sons and Daughters of David.

Volume 72. Number 3. Fall 2018

Service members from California, under the direction of Army Command Sergeant Major (CSM) Sam Yudin, CA Post 276,  participated in the memorial service for Sgt. David Rosenkrantz, who was killed during WWII.

By Greg Lee, Department Commander of California

Sam Yudin at the ceremony.

Every day, people enquire, “what does JWV do?”  The answer varies because there are more than 300 local posts that represent the organization.

One of our missions as Jews and Jewish War Veterans is to ensure that every single one of our service members receives a dignified and proper burial. Usually that happens without a problem, but sometimes we must get involved.

What do you do when the person who needs to be interned has no identification?  What do you do when the person has been missing since World War II?

Sgt. David Rosenkrantz had no identification and he was missing since WWII.   He was a true airborne hero, dropped behind enemy lines, never to be seen again, but thanks to modern technology and DNA testing, Sgt. Rosenkrantz was finally identified.  His remains that had been in cold storage for 70 years have been cleared for internment.

He was to be transferred to Riverside National Cemetery and buried just like the 35 -50 burials that take place there every day.  We also learned that the ceremony was not going to be a Jewish ceremony, which we can assume Sgt. Rosenkrantz would have wanted.

When Jewish War Veterans learned of this monumental event, they sprang into action.  National Headquarters reached out to the Department of California echelon.  Commander Greg Lee made some phone calls.

The most important call was to the Tibor Rubin Post 786 Commander Sam Yudin.  CSM Yudin is not only an active JWV member but an Active Duty soldier in the US Army.  Rabbi David Becker from the California National Guard also answered the call to help make sure that this Jewish soldier received a Jewish burial, and without either of their help, this soldier would not have the burial that he deserved.

Yudin immediately stepped up and contacted his Commanding Officer with a request to delay his reporting for duty by one day so he could attend the funeral of Sgt. Rosenkrantz. The CO immediately affirmed that action and Yudin was set.  CSM Yudin then coordinated the order of battle at the cemetery services by contacting the cemetery director, the Family of Sgt. Rosenkrantz, and some local Rabbis.

CSM Yudin then “suited up” in his military dress blues and drove 75 miles to the Riverside Cemetery on one of the hottest days in California history. He proudly represented Jewish War Veterans as he paid his respects to a Jewish hero. He represented JWV, the Jewish people and himself in the finest tradition of service and Mitzvot.

So in case you ever wondered – this act of supreme respect represents one thing that Jewish War Veterans do!

Volume 72. Number 3. Fall 2018

Max Glauben Speaking at Texas A & M. Photo Credit – Texas A&M Hillel

By Anna Selman, Programs and Public Relations Coordinator

For JWV members going to the opening night of the Dallas Holocaust Museum next year, they will see a familiar face.  That is because JWV Member Max Glauben was chosen by the Dallas Holocaust Museum and the USC Shoah Foundation to be the face of their new interactive Holocaust exhibit.

“They’ll get to have a conversation with Max,” says USC Shoah Foundation Program Manager Kia Hays, “to maybe ask Max a question they might have had about the Warsaw ghetto after going through that or they might have had about the camps, or survival or coping…and get an answer and really connect with him on a very personal level.”

Glauben, born in Warsaw, Poland, survived the Warsaw Ghetto, multiple concentration camps and the death march as a young teenager.  Since coming to America, he has committed his life to telling his story to ensure that the Holocaust is never forgotten.

“I have devoted my retirement to telling my story, and starting the seed for the Holocaust Museum that is scheduled to be finished next year around September 2019.  It is going to be a fine museum with, of course, the Hologram Exhibit that was made with the USC Shoah Foundation,” said Max.

Glauben is one of the few remaining Holocaust survivors living in Dallas.  As with most Holocaust survivors, Max is realizing that there will be no one else to tell their story after he is gone.  This new innovative project will allow students to interact with a life-like hologram that hopefully give the students the ability to speak with a holocaust survivor.

However, he also visits schools as a Jewish War Veteran.  “I come to speaking events when asked because I am a Jewish War Veteran.  I love going to the schools and speaking with the children to tell them about my service,” said Max.

He was drafted during the Korean War in 1951.  Max served for the next four years in different locations state-side as a mess hall sergeant.

Max Glauben being filmed for project. Photo Credit – Texas Jewish Press

“When I was liberated, the Americans gave us uniforms and had us help out.  While I was at the DP camps, I would run the mess hall and I would drive the cars.  So, I had a little experience coming.  When I came to the states in 49, I registered for the draft and I was picked up in 1951,” said Max.

“I remember running the mess hall.  I had the walls painted and had pictures of Mull Mullens up on the walls.  At Fort Hood, I was awarded for the best mess hall.  I don’t think anyone knew I was a Holocaust survivor.  I just went with the flow.  In those days, being a Holocaust survivor didn’t mean much, but I didn’t want to be treated any differently.  I just wanted to be a normal person; I didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for me,” said Max.

“When I came to the country, I was not a citizen.  I was grateful for what I did, and I became a patriot to the United States.  They gave me citizenship.  I feel that if you live in a country, and you should love that country and the people in that country.  I honored my commitment to the country that saved my life, and I feel good and I don’t care how anyone else feels about that.”

Max is now able to go back to the places that he served in order to tell his fellow soldiers about his experiences.

“I went to Fort Hood and Fort Sill for their Holocaust remembrance ceremonies a couple of years ago.  I think it is important to tell our military about the Holocaust.  They incorporate some of the things we went through into their practice about how they should handle certain things,” said Max.

“I think it is important what myself and the other holocaust survivors are doing right now.  We need to fight hatred, bigotry and racism,” said Max.  “We need to ensure things like freedom of speech, freedom of religion are not broken.  Unless we tell the people like it is and how things can change rapidly if we act the way we are acting right now, what goes around comes around…but you never know,” said Max.

Volume 72. Number 3. Fall 2018

Members of Post 157 participate in Color Guard at Benjamin Rutstein Commemoration.

By Barry Lischinsky, JWV Membership Chairman

One of our biggest missions at JWV is to remind the Jewish community that Jews do serve in the U.S. Armed Forces and in so doing, we remind the world that Jews have served in the Armed Forces of many nations.  So, with the 100th anniversary of the Armistice fast approaching, we are speaking to Jewish communities across the nation about the vast and great history of Jewish service during World War I.

JWV Members with Boston Veterans Affairs Commissioner Fransisco Urena

On July 15, 1918, Private Benjamin Rutstein, a Boston native, was killed in action fighting the German army on the French-German border.  Pvt. Benjamin, served in the 167th Infantry Regiment, 42nd Division, and was 23 at the time of his death. Before volunteering for the army, Pvt. Rutstein had worked as a newsboy for the Boston Globe. Pvt. Rutstein is buried in the Meuse-Argonne American military cemetery, near to where he died.

In his memory, a memorial was erected on 20 Staniford Street in downtown Boston, and it is named the Benjamin Rutstein Square.

In commemoration of the centennial of his death, there was a ceremony at the memorial, at 20 Staniford Street, on Friday, July 20th at 11:00 AM.  At that time, the Consul General of France, Mr. Valery Freland, offered remarks to honor the deceased.  Additional speakers at this event included representatives from both the City of Boston and the State of Massachusetts, as well as his nephew, 100-year old WWII veteran David Levenson, a long-time resident of Framingham. Representatives from the Jewish War Veterans Post 157 were be on hand to present the Honor Guard.  They played an essential part in the service, all in order to remember and teach the next generation that Private Benjamin Rutstein was not merely a street sign in Boston.

It is because of the sacrifices of Jews like Private Benjamin Rutstein that we have the freedoms we enjoy today, and it is our duty at JWV to teach this important history to the next generation.  This is why we are asking you to call your local JCC, synagogue, school or other Jewish center and tell them to get a speaker through JWV’s Project Maggid program completely free.  We are trying to teach this next generation about the proud service of Jews in World War I and beyond.  If you need any help, contact the JWV Programs Department.

Volume 72. Number 3. Fall 2018

Capt. Daniel Kaplan and Australian Defence Force Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Rosenfeld at the 21st Combat Support Hospital in Iraq, 11 May 2017

By Marla Cohen, JCC Association

NEW YORK CITY – To better understand the needs of Jews in the United States military, Jewish Welfare Board (JWB) Jewish Chaplains Council is surveying those who serve or have served our country in uniform.

The survey, which is being conducted in conjunction with other endorsers of Jewish chaplains, Aleph and Pirchei Shoshanim, is the first of its extent and kind, according to Rabbi Irving Elson, director of JWB Jewish Chaplains Council.

Rabbi Irving Elson

“This will give us a better understanding of what exactly Jews who serve want from a Jewish perspective, and allow us to serve them better,” said Elson, who formerly served in the U.S. Navy.  “That all the endorsers of Jewish chaplains are behind this effort and support it, indicates a broad need, one that we hope this survey will fill with the support of the military branches.”

The survey takes about 5-10 minutes to fill out and is anonymous. In addition to asking such basics as gender, age, current military status, and duty station, JWB drills deeper, asking for how survey participants identify as Jews, whether or not they belong to a synagogue or JCC, whether there are Jewish educational opportunities available for them or their children, and if they would use them, and what kind of services are available to them wherever they are stationed.

“Hearing directly from the Jewish men and women who serve in our military and who need our services will help us tailor JWB’s work to meet them,” Elson said.

JWB is not alone in anticipating how beneficial the survey results will be. In addition to the other endorsers, the different military branches will benefit and learn from the findings.

“I am so appreciative of JWB ‘leaning forward’ with this survey and working with us in serving our Jewish airmen,” said Maj. Gen. Steven A. Schack, Chief of Chaplains in the U.S. Air Force.

To take the survey, visit http://jcca.org/what-we-do/jwb/survey/.

Volume 72. Number 3. Fall 2018