Temple Beth Torah Sha’aray Tzedek

Alan Paley is an active member of the synagogue and veteran. Below are his remarks to the audience.

Good Shabbos,

Tomorrow, the nation will pause for a few minutes to both honor, and pay tribute to, the many men and women who served in the military, and then returned home.

Most cities and towns hold symbolic celebrations for their veterans at the 11th hour of the 11th day, of the 11th month. For this was the time in 1918 that the armistice was signed with Germany, ending World War 1, permitting tired and homesick soldiers to return home.

But, when we speak about Veterans, we often group them together in one big giant pot.

They are all the same.  Each one wore the uniform of the United States Military and basically did what they were told.

No more, no less.

But, Veterans are individuals as well. Each had a unique job that they performed. Each served in one of the five branches of the armed services. And, each served at a different time.

Starting with the American Revolution, and making our way through the Civil War, two deadly world wars, The Korean and Vietnam Wars.

And most recently, the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan, fought as part of the U.S. War on Terrorism.

Yet, every veteran has a story all their own.

So, this morning, as we gather here in the comfortable sanctuary of our synagogue, I want to tell you about 3 individual Veterans – each unique in their military service and history. Each, a Veteran of the war in Vietnam.

Our first Veteran enlisted in the United States Navy in 1966, at a time when the draft was at its highest level.  Young men and women who enlisted during this time frame were often looked upon a being somewhat “strange” Why are you enlisting?  There is a war going on!!

You must be nuts to willingly join the military, were the cries often heard from family and friends.  Yet, this individual did just that.  He enlisted.

Following basic training at Great Lakes Illinois, this Veteran was then selected to attend Basic Electronic and Electricity Training.  Upon successful completion of those studies, he was sent to Bainbridge, Maryland, to attend additional training to become a Radioman.  As a certified Radioman, he was then assigned to the USS Joseph P Kennedy in 1967.  His duties as a Radioman were the processing and execution of all phases of incoming and outgoing electronically generated shipboard communication.

He also helped to train lower ranking personnel in the same field.  He remained on that ship until 1970.  Upon discharge from active duty, he joined the Naval Reserve, where he actively served for another 6 years.  While in the reserves, he took advantage of the GI Bill and enrolled in the City University of New York, he graduated at the top of his class. He then accepted a job as a Secondary Science Teacher. He remained in that position for the next 29 years, and retired in 2005 as Teacher, and Chairman of the Science Department.  He is usually here every Shabbat, but is currently resting at home following a short hospital stay.

He is an involved member of our synagogue, and an active member of our Men’s Club.This Veteran is Aubrey Harley.

Our next Veteran enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve in 1968, and having already graduated from college and medical school, entered with the rank of Lieutenant. He was assigned as the Battalion Surgeon at Port Hueneme in California.  However, a month later, his unit was deployed to South Vietnam, were he also served as the Battalion Surgeon.

While in Vietnam, his job was to stabilize the wounded, and prepare them to be med-evaced to area field hospitals. He saw firsthand the effects of war, as he cared for and provided medical attention to those wounded servicemen who were brought back to his Battalion for treatment. Young men, whose life at times hung by a very thin thread. Often, he stood between life and death for these wounded soldiers.

He is most proud of the fact that he initiated a program of training 3 local residents in basic health care, so they could serve as village care providers, where there was no previous health care available.

He returned to the United States in 1969 and served as the Medical Officer at the San Diego Naval Hospital.  He separated from active duty in 1970 but continued to serve in the Naval Reserve until January of 1975.  During this time, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

He continued to practice medicine all through his civilian career and just recently retired.  This Veteran, who is in the synagogue this morning, also serves as the President of our Men’s Club.

Alan Paley

This Veteran is Dr. Alan Miller.

Our third Veteran has a somewhat different story to tell.

Joining Army ROTC when he was in college, he knew that upon graduation he would have to enter the military.  As a college graduate, he would enter active duty as an officer, rather than an enlisted man, so his chances of seeing action in Southeast Asia were slightly reduced. Or so he thought…..  Following training in Virginia, he received orders to go to Germany.

Along with his wife, he set off to Manheim for his first overseas assignment, as a Brigade Personnel Officer.

Concurrent to his assignment in Germany, his younger brother, who had enlisted in the Air Force, was also stationed in Germany.  His brother however, was not an officer, but was an airman specializing in the weapons system of the latest United States Air Force fighter jet, the Phantom F-4.

The largest, fastest fighter jet in the Air Force inventory, and the leading aircraft in the war in Vietnam.

Knowing this, and realizing that the chances of his brother getting orders for Southeast Asia far outweighed his, he decided to speak with his commanding officer and subsequently, requested a transfer to Vietnam.

After only 9 months of serving in Germany, he received orders to report to Long Binh Vietnam, for a 12-month tour of duty.

He served as a Staff Supply Officer, flying from location to location via helicopter, and insured that the men and women stationed at those posts, outposts and bases were provided with all the special services supplies they could get.

Recreational items, so the troops could enjoy whatever free time they had, before going back into battle.

His helicopter was shot at, his barracks was mortared, and several army buddies were killed during one of those mortar attacks.

He returned home a year later, to his wife and new baby daughter.  Enrolling in Law School, he later practiced law, and now serves as a Superior Court Judge in New Jersey.

This Veteran, although not a member of our synagogue is my brother, and his decision to volunteer for service in a combat zone, enabled me to serve my remaining years of military service in Germany, without the threat of receiving orders for Vietnam.

I never knew what he had done until 2016, some 49 years later.

One thing each of these Veterans have in common is the deeply embedded feeling of patriotism.  Although members of the military come from different walks of life, we all learned to get along and work with one another.  We watched each other’s back and knew that our comrades in arms would be watching our back, too. This is the way you survive.

In this week’s Torah portion, we read the shocking story of Jacob stealing Esau’s blessing, an action that created a rivalry so bitter, it is said to still be manifesting itself today. The Torah is full of stories of brother turning against brother. Cain kills Abel, Moses is compelled by God to turn against his brother – Pharaoh, Joseph’s brothers almost kill him over their jealousy of the treatment their father Jacob gives to Joseph – culminating with Jacob giving Joseph a coat of many colors.

The collection of Jewish texts does contain a few positive stories of one brother helping another. Most famously, although the source of the story has never been proven, is the tale of King Solomon’s quest to find a suitable location to build the First Temple.

One of God’s angels takes Solomon in one of his dreams to a field owned by two brothers.

One of the brothers is a bachelor; the other is married and has children. At the end of the harvest season, each brother is concerned for the other, and under the cover of night each adds grain to the other’s pile. The married brother was concerned because he reasoned that the bachelor had no children to support him in his old age. The bachelor was concerned because he reasoned that with so many children his brother needed more grain. The brothers met in the middle of the field and embraced.

This field, a manifestation of brotherly love, King Solomon reasoned was the best site for the Temple.

Brotherly love, commitment, and honor. These are the virtues of a Veteran.

Each of the Veterans mentioned today served their country with honor, and then returned to civilian life. Each one built a successful career.

They rarely speak about their military service on their own and are often shy about discussing it, when asked by outsiders.  But, all of them have earned the title of Veteran.

We are here today, able to live in this great country and enjoy the religious freedom that we have, because these men answered their call to duty, and served in the military.

And yes, a great many women answered that call too.

So, if you are a veteran, please stand up and be recognized.

Thank you all for your service.

May God bless those men and women both here today and all over the country that carry the title of Veteran. And, may God bless the United States of America.

Shabbat Shalom

Volume 72. Number 4. Winter 2018

Guy Stern, Walter Sears and Fred Howard

By Sabrina Fine, Communications Intern

Dr. Guy Stern is a man of many titles. Literary scholar, Bronze Star Medal recipient and published author- to name just a few.

Stern was born in Hildesheim, Germany in 1922.  He escaped from Nazi Germany and relocated to the United States in 1937 with the help of an uncle and an American Jewish organization.  He hoped that his parents and two siblings would follow.

In 1943, he was drafted into the Army and in 1944 landed in Normandy after D-day as a Ritchie Boy. Ritchie Boys were a military intelligence unit made up of mostly German, Austrian and Czech refugees and immigrants, many of whom were Jewish.

“Beyond the fighting spirit of all GI”s, the knowledge of the Holocaust was an added incentive to put forth our utmost effort in the war, we were refugees; our own families were being murdered,” said Stern.

Since Stern spoke German he was tasked with the interrogation of prisoners of war and defectors. Stern’s story was highlighted in the book Sons and Soldiers, “the untold story of the Jews who escaped the Nazis and returned with the U.S. Army to fight Hitler.”

Stern, along with fellow Ritchie Boy Fred Howard, devised a plan to extract information from German soldiers after previous more traditional methods did not work.

“My friend and comrade Fred Howard found that the German soldiers were afraid beyond everything else of landing in Russian captivity,” said Stern.  “We played on that fear by telling the enemy soldiers that we had orders to turn them over to the Russians, if they did not cooperate. We got vital info for our air force that way.  I disguised myself as a Soviet commissar and liaison officer. I donned a Russian uniform for that purpose; Fred played a soft-hearted American.”

Stern also adopted a Russian accent, despite not knowing how to speak Russian.  Stern’s method allowed him to gather important intelligence as well as earn him a Bronze Star.

“I could make a contribution to the war effort as an interrogator of POWs by introducing mass interrogations in order to assess the strength of the last German replacement divisions and to report on the German potential for gas warfare,” said Stern.

Stern was born in Germany, yet never once hesitated in his allegiance to the United States and he felt very much American.

Guy Stern

As a Jew, American soldier and a human, he never erased memories of what he witnessed in Buchenwald.  In a 1990 oral history recording for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, he spoke of the horrors.   When he arrived at Buchenwald, Stern remembered feeling queasy.

His unit helped set up food and water for recently liberated prisoners, yet the prisoners were still dealing with shock and not fully comprehending they were free.

When speaking of the experience, Stern’s demeanor changed. His eyes became heavier and he looked off to the side in search of words to describe the almost indescribable.

He recalled a story of a man who was stooped down to a puddle of muddy water and was readying himself to drink from it.  From Stern’s perspective, it looked like something routine.   Stern’s unit had just set up clean water in the camp for the recently liberated survivors.

The survivor needed to be gently reminded and pointed in the direction of the clean water. Only then did he abandon the dirty puddle.

“To summarize it- it was almost as if you had to unlearn the concentration camp experience,” said Stern about the survivors.

Before leaving Buchenwald, Stern recalled despite their grim conditions and poor health, the survivors seemed very grateful.  He remembers the scene of them coming to the fence to greet the Americans.

After the war, Stern learned his whole family had perished in Warsaw.

In 1948, he graduated Hofstra and went on to receive his Ph.D. from Columbia University in German Literature and Culture. Doing so required Stern to wrestle with some deeply personal decisions.

“I could have entered a variety of fields,” said Stern. “I found to my satisfaction, and that of my professors that I had some gifts for German literature and German cultural history.”

Yet the troubling thought was, if he continued studying German, he would be constantly reminded of Germany and its past and the terrible memories of his youth.

“I came to the recognition I indeed had a gift and to deny it, or to let it lie fallow would be an act of self-amputation, very much like the one they were going to inflict on me, it was doing the work of the enemy,” said Stern. “So, I decided to stay in German.”

He also believed he could make a difference for the victims of Nazi Germany.

“I’ve made the right decision because I’ve lent voice to some writers who may [otherwise] have been forgotten,” said Stern. “I have in a way kept their memory and the memory of their writings alive,” said Stern.

Stern currently directs the Harry and Wanda Zekelman International Institute of the Righteous at the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

Volume 72. Number 4. Winter 2018

Members of Post 256 color guard at the Dallas Kosher BBQ opening ceremony.

By Steve Krant, Post 256 Commander

(DALLAS – September 6, 2018) For the fourth year in-a-row, Dr. Harvey J. Bloom Post 256 and Auxiliary served a delicious barbecue lunch with all the usual trimmings to more than 100 homeless veterans on the campus of the Dallas Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center.

Weeks before the event, social workers and staff from the hospital’s Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans (DCHV) team spread the word at area shelters and temporary lodging facilities, identified and gave out admission tickets to qualified veterans, and made arrangements for “day of” transportation to the luncheon from multiple collection points.

National Commander Dr. Barry Schneider pitched-in on the serving line before speaking to the gathering about JWV’s history and mission. In addition, he offered some encouraging insights about recently confirmed VA secretary

Post 256 recruiting new members.

Robert Wilkie and his plans for the agency’s future.

The meal  was again catered by local brisket master, Big Al’s Smokehouse and underwritten by Post 256 and the generosity of a veteran-friendly Dallas philanthropist. Big Al’s crew sliced and served their beef and chicken, while post and auxiliary members dispensed iced tea and lemonade at one end of the serving line, and fresh apple pie at the opposite end.  (NEC) Jerry Benjamin brought 22 fresh pies, special ordered with a liberal discount from the bakery department of his neighborhood Tom Thumb grocery (part of the Albertsons group). Our ladies auxiliary team decorated the long tables with edible centerpieces made-up of “take away” tangerines and bananas graciously contributed by a local Costco Wholesale warehouse.

The appreciative crowd was entertained throughout the meal by talented teen singer and songwriter Joli Reiman — granddaughter of proud post members Lionel Reiman and Jim Walsh. Known professionally as “Joli Hope,” the future headliner already has several of her original songs listed on iTunes and Spotify.

In years past, the Dallas Post served a “full Monty” turkey dinner to local homeless veterans at the VA facility during the Thanksgiving holiday week. Unfortunately, well-meaning competition from other benevolent groups diluted the effort and caused “turkey burn-out” among the intended recipients. That led post leadership to rethink and regroup, ultimately launching a new tradition four years ago: An end-of-summer BBQ scheduled around the Labor Day holiday.

Volume 72. Number 4. Winter 2018

JWV members of Post 625 for a photo with the sign proclamation.

By Ron Markowitz & Marian Schwartz, Post 625

POUGHKEEPSIE N.Y. – A sign honoring Pvt. Herman Siegel was dedicated on the corner of Forbus and May Streets in the City of Poughkeepsie, signifying the culmination of several years of planning between Jewish War Veterans Post #625 and the City of Poughkeepsie.  Pvt. Siegel was the first Jewish serviceman from Poughkeepsie killed in World War II, and Jewish War Veterans Post #625 is named in his memory.  It is an extremely apt location for the sign since Herman Siegel lived most of his life in a house that still stands on May Street. To express gratitude to the City for the sign, the members of Pvt. Herman Siegel Post #625 Jewish War Veterans of the USA pledged to clean May Street of litter on a monthly basis.

Herman Siegel was born May 4, 1925, at Vassar Hospital, the only child of Esther and Harry Siegel.  He attended local schools and graduated Poughkeepsie High in June, 1943. An excellent student in both math and science, he was involved in the music festival, orchestra, band, and track, and was very popular among his fellow classmates.  In fact, the comment under his senior photo in the year book was, “Six foot tall and not too shy, who cannot help but like this guy.” He had

Mayor Rob Rolison at the sign unveiling.

planned to attend Clarkson College, but was drafted into the military right after graduation.

On August 7, 1943, Herman was inducted into the Army and sent for training first to Camp Upton, L.I., later to Fort Riley, Kansas and finally to Fort Meade, Maryland.  He was then assigned to the 141st Armed Signal Battalion that supported the First Armored Division in North Africa, and was sent to participate in the Anzio Campaign.  Herman was killed on the Anzio Beachhead in Italy on May 18, 1944; he had just turned 19 years old.  Private Siegel was first interred in the military cemetery in Nettuno, Italy, and reinterred in the Hebrew Benevolent Cemetery in the City of Poughkeepsie in 1947.  After his death, his parents established the Herman Siegel Memorial Prize for Excellence in 12th Year Math at Poughkeepsie High.

The ceremony to dedicate the sign was attended by many local veterans, as well as ordinary citizens and a host of dignitaries.  Among those there to honor Pvt. Siegel were Poughkeepsie’s Mayor Rob Rolison, Director of County Veterans Services Marc Coriello, a group of administrators from the Poughkeepsie School District including Supt. Kathleen Farrell and H.S. Principal Ronald Jackson, and a representative of State Senator Sue Serino who presented the Post a proclamation from the NYS Senate.  Rabbi Eliezer Langer of Congregation Shomre Israel gave the invocation and benediction, and a Scout from John Jay High School closed the ceremony with taps.  All the speakers expressed the hope that Pvt. Siegel would prove an inspiration to today’s youth who attend Poughkeepsie High School right across the street from the sign that is dedicated to his memory.

Volume 72. Number 4. Winter 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

Post Commander Sheldon Goldberg Installs New Officers

By Fred Shapiro, Post 567 Commander

WASHINGTON – Located in Leisure World of Maryland, the Charles Krieger Jewish War Veterans Post 567 held its end of the season brunch June 10th featuring the election of new officers for the coming year 2018-2019. The Post is the only veterans organization located in a senior community of 8500 residents and is in the process of rebuilding its membership and activities in the community.

Membership in the Post is not restrictive to residents of Leisure World, but to veterans living in the proximity including Silver Spring, Aspen Hill and Olney. With the aging of our World War 2 and Korean veterans, the broader area is intended to bring more members into one of the two JWV posts in the Montgomery County of Maryland.

With the election of the new officers, the Post is looking to expand not only its activities for the veterans living in Leisure World and its vicinity but to\ add a Women’s Auxiliary to its membership. Recognizing the predominance of women in Leisure World who served in the military or were married to veterans, the addition will enable those interested to help plan for the future of the Post.

Post 567 conducts Memorial Day ceremony at Leisure World in Silver Spring, MD.

The installation was performed by Commander Sheldon Goldberg. He has also been an advisor to the incoming officers.

The officers elected are:

Commander                                       Frederick M  Shapiro

Sr. Vice Commander                         Jerome Cohen

Jr. Vice Commander                          Robert Kessler

Judge Advocate                                 Ray Kurlander

Quartermaster                                   Edwin Cohen

Adjutant                                             Jerome Cohen

Chaplain                                             Philip Wendkos

Past Commander                               Milton Loube

Women’s Representative                  Evelyn Sturza

Officer of the Day                              Robert Stromberg

Following in the path of the leadership provided in past years by Herb Alpert, Marvin Franklin and Milton Loube, the new officers are reaching out to the community in many ways. In addition to its monthly brunches, the Post will be hosting programs of interest to both the Jewish residents and to all the veterans living in Leisure World. Working in partnership with other Leisure World organizations, the Post will take a leadership role in helping to organize such things as the Memorial Day program, Veterans Day luncheon and a census of the veterans living in the community, as well as programs updating all veterans on legislation and VA reorganizations that will affect them.

Volume 72. Number 3. Fall 2018

Scott Wilson awarding Eagle Scout Benjamin Chafetz a certificate of achievement and letter of congratulations on behalf of JWV.

By Scott Wilson, Post 639

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. – On Sunday July 15th, I was given the great honor and pleasure to present Eagle Scout Benjamin Chafetz a certificate of achievement and letter of congratulations on behalf of the National Commander Paul D. Warner PhD., and a Plaque and a gift card on behalf of the Department of Florida Commander Alan Paley. The Eagle Scout is the highest level in Scouting; the Jewish War Veterans of the USA has a great yet under used program to support scouting.  Every Post should have an active scouting program, this includes our virtual Posts.

The Eagle Court of Honor was held in the chapel at the Jacksonville Jewish Center, Jacksonville Florida.  This is also the home of the once thriving and slowly reorganizing Lt. Meyer Leibovitz Post #199 Jewish War Veterans of the USA.  Each portion of the ceremony was symbolic of Benjamin’s journey through scouting and the principles of the Eagle Scout.  After the ceremony Benjamin’s family hosted a meal in the social hall.

Scott Wilson

While being introduced to Benjamin in a group of people I was surprised that a young man that had just turned 16 was the person standing to my right in the group who had a beard that was fuller than my own.  Not many that have known me over the years believe that many can grow a better beard, but I even say his beard is better.  Benjamin is well spoken and an over achiever in all aspects of his life to include excelling in not 1 but 2 forms of the martial arts.

Having grown up in a scouting family myself and not progressing to Eagle Scout, I perused Jewish Youth Groups in its place.   I see the structure and discipline that these young scouts have that would make wonderful members of our military in the future if that is their choice, then later become members of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA.  Promoting scouting is the first step in recruiting future members, when we start with structure and team building in our Jewish youth with mentoring from our members / Post(s) we impress on young minds and hopefully have family members eligible to become members.  Some of these who become members surprisingly may never have known that the Jewish War Veterans of the USA was there to fill their needs in a Veterans Organization.

Volume 72. Number 3. Fall 2018