Ed Freeberg with collected medical supplies. Photos Courtesy from Ed Freeberg

The Jewish War Veterans Post 652 participated in a drive to collect medical supplies and bandages to send to Israel. Combat medics in Israel are working tirelessly to treat the injured, however, their medical supplies are running low and need to be replenished.
Jewish War Veteran member Ed Freeberg, collected medical supplies for the drive and brought them to the Sid Jacobson JCC which is the collection point for the supplies. He also publicized the drive online and spoke to numerous people about participating. A plane has been charted to fly the medical supplies to Israel.

Volume 77. Number 4. 2023

By Earl Roth, Post 603

San Fernando Valley JWV Post 603 member and 101-year-old WWII WAC Ethel Margolin prepares to throw out the first pitch on July 4th at Dodger Stadium.

Originally a “Rosie the Riveter,” Ethel joined the US Army after being refused entry to the US Marines, US Air Force, and US Navy. Her IQ scores were off the charts, and she was one of five women across the country specially assigned to Air Transport Command, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio for two years to work on special classified projects. She was recently featured in a documentary by Gary Sinise about WWII Vets.

A long time NY Yankee fan, Ethel saw Babe Ruth’s farewell speech and later enjoyed watching the lanky center fielder named “Joltin” Joe Dimaggio.
Dodger Bobby Miller caught Ethel’s strike and the crowd roared with excitement.

Volume 77. Number 3. 2023

Members of North Shore Post 29 in Illinois attended the promotion of one of its members, Chaplain Dovid Grossman of the Civil Air Patrol Air Force Auxiliary, to the rank of Major. Before the promotion ceremony, Grossman led a character development class for Civil Air Patrol Cadets. With a wealth of wisdom in the room, veterans and CAP senior members paired off with cadets to discuss each question in the curriculum. Grossman said it was exhilarating to witness the multigenerational interactions and to hear insights they shared with each other.

Volume 77. Number 1. 2023

By Eric Spinner

It should be no surprise to anyone that education about the Holocaust and other genocides has been neglected in schools across our country, and the neglect has been even more apparent lately with the political unrest and the apparent failure of hastily devised bail reform. Regardless of the cause, there are many groups promoting awareness and enforcement of education law that requires this historical problem to be addressed in our schools.

Representatives of the Jewish War Veterans in downstate New York are actively engaged in campaigns to reinforce these requirements for teaching of history, and members of the Nassau-Suffolk District Council have added their support to one of the leading groups in this cause, Voices 4 Truth & Humanity on Long Island.

Seven of our members were proud to provide a Color Guard for the 3rd Annual Remembrance Awards Dinner at Crest Hollow Country Club on September 13.

Guest honorees for the event included Prime Minister Salih Hudayar of the East Turkistan Government-in-Exile and champion for the Uyghur people who are victims of Communist Chinese oppression and genocide, New York State Regent Roger Tilles, and Martin Bloch, a Holocaust survivor and Bielski Partisan. All delivered powerful messages regarding antisemitism and hate, and the need for coordinated action against the forces promoting hate.

Public service awards were also presented to New York State Senator Anna Kaplan, and to New York State Assemblywoman Nily Rozic for their efforts in support of Holocaust education requirements.

All JWV members and Posts are encouraged to participate in activities in support of efforts to put Holocaust remembrance and education at the top of their efforts in every community across our nation. Never forget!

Volume 76. Number 4. 2022

By Eric Spinner, Post 652

Many women have served in our military over the years, and all have gone well beyond the normal expectations that society, in general, has set for them. Periodically one meets a person who has defied the odds, served her country, and made a mark in the historical record. This is a story of one of these remarkable veterans.

At 103-years-old, Loretta Weiss is still spirited and pushing the limit as much as possible. On Thursday, June 2, several of us had the opportunity to visit her at the Long Island State Veterans Home (LISVH) in Stonybrook, New York to celebrate her birthday. She was able to show her appreciation for all the attention using a text-to-speech function on a smartphone.

LISVH Director Fred Sganga welcomed the guests and recounted the accomplishments of this great lady. Post 336 member Ed Bram presented her with an honorary JWV Life Membership pin and gave her a JWV cap. Also attending were Past Department Commander Mel Cohen, Department Commander Gary Glick, and other members of Post 652.

SFC Weiss served in the U.S. Army for more than two decades, was inducted into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame in 2013 and is a longtime member of JWV. We are proud to have her in our ranks!

Volume 76. Number 3. 2022

In 2009, while serving on his local school board, JWV Post 126 member Dr. Kenneth Hartman noticed his school district in Cherry Hill, New Jersey did not honor graduating high school seniors who planned to enlist in the military after graduation.

As both a soldier and son of a holocaust survivor, Hartman decided to take action. He founded Our Community Salutes (OCS).

For the past 14 years since Hartman founded OCS, the organization has held hundreds of recognition ceremonies across the country for high school enlistees. Tens of thousands of people have attended or spoken at OCS ceremonies; truly a testimony to the appreciation for the young men and women entering the military, as well as their families.

The organizing body of OCS includes community leaders, educators, business leaders, veterans, and patriotic Americans who feel strongly about honoring these young enlistees, the importance of community support and recognition for the courageous and patriotic young adults who will serve in the U.S. Armed Services after graduation, and the 1% of young Americans who take a solemn oath to protect our liberties and freedoms.

When COVID restrictions forced the cancellation of nearly all OCS Ceremonies in 2020, Hartman conceived of and obtained funding to produce and broadcast America Salutes 2020, a star-studded broadcast to honor our nation’s high school enlistees.

The broadcast in 2021 reached over 20 million people in more than 160 different countries. This year, in addition to live ceremonies, America Salutes 2022 will premiere on May 19 with actor Gary Sinise joining as one of the celebrity hosts.

“Our mission and activities have never been more timely or important. Our nation faces a true national security threat due to a dangerously low troop strength,” said OCS Board Member Julie Strauss Levin. “There is an alarming increase of suicides among veterans, as well. We must do much better to honor these young men and women who are willing to serve our country. They and their families deserve our support and respect, and OCS is the only entity spearheading this crucial action.”

OCS is the only national organization bringing communities together to honor and support the 150,000 high school seniors planning to enlist in the military following graduation each year.

OCS ceremonies also provide much needed transitional resources to new enlistees – 75% of whom will only serve for 48 months. Now more than ever, military-bound high school seniors and their families need to know that the country stands with them in their selfless decision to serve our great nation. To learn more about how to support OCS and sign a virtual thank you card for the class of 2022, log onto www.OCSUSA.org.

Volume 76. Number 1. 2022

By PNC Carl Singer

Like many JWV posts, Essex-Preiskel-Miller-Glassberg Post 47 strives to honor our fallen comrades by putting out flags prior to Memorial Day and Veterans Day. We focus on two cemeteries in northern New Jersey, Menorah Cemetery in Passaic and the King Solomon Cemetery in Clifton. To accomplish this mission, we are helped by numerous community volunteers and Scouts BSA (formerly the Boy Scouts).

The King Solomon Cemetery is a large facility with over 50,000 graves. This past November the scouts who were assisting us found two graves with what we thought were logos for the Royal Air Force. We, of course, wanted to do right to honor these allied veterans.

It was a circuitous path to make this happen. Unable to reach the appropriate personnel at the British Embassy, I contacted my Congressman’s Chief of Staff, who in turn contacted the Congressional Liaison to the British Embassy. A Group Captain at the British Embassy who serves as their Assistant Air and Space Attaché contacted me. His sharp eyes determined the logos on the headstone were actually RCAF, for the Royal Canadian Air Force. He forwarded my request to his Canadian counterpart.

I was contacted by a Lieutenant-Colonel who is the Assistant Canadian Forces and Space Attaché. In turn, I contacted the Poppy & Remembrance Director at The Royal Canadian Legion.

Our post then purchased the appropriate Canadian flags so we could put them on the two graves. Mission Accomplished.

Volume 76. Number 1. 2022

Four Jewish veterans marked the first day of Chanukah in 2021 by performing a mitzvah, volunteering to help fellow veterans and service members of the New York National Guard to load donated Christmas Trees at Ellms Tree Farm in Ballston Spa, New York on November 29.

Post Commander Altman

The JWV members from Albany Post 105 helped load 110 donated Christmas trees onto a truck for delivery to military bases around the country to support military families this holiday season as part of the Trees for Troops program.

The program has been ongoing for 17 years, said Richard Goldenberg, the JWV Capital District Council Commander.

Goldenberg began volunteering in 2006 following his return from a combat deployment to Iraq with the Army National Guard.

“The holiday season, when deployed far from home, can be especially difficult for military families,” Goldenberg said, “whether it is lighting candles for Hanukkah or gathering around a Christmas tree.”

The donated trees are a reminder of home, no matter your faith, he said. The trees provide a sight and smell of life back at home and remind troops that they are not forgotten when so far away.

“It amazes me, each and every year to see the support of our local tree farmers and the turnout to help load these trees,” said Garth Ellms, the third-generation owner of Ellms Family Farm, the collection site for regional tree farms.

Trees for Troops was launched in 2005, and with the help of FedEx Corp., has delivered more than a quarter million Christmas Trees to U.S. military bases at home and overseas.

The local effort is a reflection of JWV supporting veterans of all faiths, explained Gene Altman, the JWV Schenectady Post 106 Commander. He said it is a way of showing our support to all military families.

Supporting the mitzvah effort at Ellms Family Farm were Altman, Goldenberg, Gary Hoffmann, and Dan Tilsner.

Volume 75. Number 4. 2021

By Larry Jasper, National Editor

Due to a drop in the number of cases related to the pandemic, the Department of Florida decided to hold an in-person convention. We limited the number of attendees to 50, practiced social distancing, and required masks except during meals.

The one-day convention took place at the Delray Beach Golf Club in Delray Beach, Florida on Sunday, June 6. National Commander Jeffrey Sacks and National Vice Commander Alan Paley were both in attendance.

The convention was a joint venture with the Florida JWV Auxiliary, led by State President Verna Rosenzweig.

Also in attendance was Past National Commander Nathan Goldberg who turned 97 a few days later.

In addition to the usual department business and reports, NC Sacks presided over the installation of the Department of Florida Officers and installations for two local Posts.

The convention included a joint memorial service with JWV and JWVA. We also had two presentations via Zoom, with question and answer sessions. Dr. Charles Sand discussed myths associated with the coronavirus and vaccines. Debra Harris talked about suicide prevention and crisis intervention. Sacks also spoke during the JWV/JWVA luncheon.

Volume 75. Number 3. 2021

By Eric Spinner

Fifty-one years after being killed in action in Vietnam, members of JWV’s Nassau-Suffolk District found the neglected headstone of Steven Gershnow at New Montefiore Cemetery in Farmingdale, New York. They found the headstone on June 11, 2018, but it took until September 17, 2020 to complete the restoration.

Like so many others in his generation, Gershnow enlisted in the United States Army and went to Vietnam. Just three weeks after his deployment in June of 1968, he died after coming under attack in Bin Duong Province. The Woodmere, New York native served with 1st Infantry Division, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, D Company. Gershnow was just 23 years old.

Our JWV team, consisting of Department of New York Commander Jack Holzman and Ensign Lawrence D. Solowey Post 652 Commander Gary Glick contacted the cemetery’s groundskeeper Thomas Whelan after finding the neglected gravestone. It turns out that getting a gravestone restored is not such a simple procedure, and it took 27 months to get through all the red tape.

Volume 75. Number 1. 2021