November 15, 2019

The Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America (JWV), along with more than a dozen other veteran organizations are calling on Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie to add four pending diseases to the Agent Orange presumptive disease list.

As the letter indicates, we support the addition of bladder cancer, hypothyroid conditions, Parkinson-like symptoms, and hypertension to the list as recommended by the National Academy of Medicine.

JWV is concerned that veterans, family members, and survivors have waited three years while the VA considered adding these conditions.

It is imperative that the wait ends now for those men and women who served in Vietnam and were exposed to Agent Orange.

November 15, 2019

The Honorable Robert Wilkie
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20571

Mr. Secretary:

On behalf of the millions of veterans, service members, their families and survivors that our organizations represent, we call on you to immediately add the four pending diseases recommended by the National Academy of Medicine, formerly the Institute of Medicine, to the Agent Orange presumptive disease list.

The National Academy of Medicine’s “Veterans and Agent Orange” update published in 2016 concluded that there was compelling evidence for adding bladder cancer and hypothyroid conditions as presumptive diseases. Further, the study clarified that Vietnam veterans with “Parkinson-like symptoms,” but without a formal diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, should be considered under the presumption that Parkinson’s disease and the veterans’ are service connected.

The report noted that although VA has not found hypertension to be presumptively related to service in Vietnam, the committee reaffirmed the conclusions of previous studies that hypertension should be placed in the category of limited or suggestive evidence of association.

The December 2018 National Academy of Medicine report went even further, concluding that there was now sufficient evidence of a relationship between hypertension and Agent Orange and recommended it be added to the presumptive list.  However, VA has yet to take any actions on these four presumptive diseases, leaving thousands of veterans waiting.

At a March 2019 congressional hearing, Dr. Richard Stone, Executive in Charge of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) indicated that a decision on these presumptions could be released within 90 days.  At a Senate hearing in September, Dr. Patricia Hastings, VA Chief Consultant, Post-Deployment Health, noted that VA leadership, in accordance with Policy 0215, had been actively considering the addition of these diseases since early summer.

We are especially concerned by the recent release of internal documents that indicate Administration officials challenged the previous Secretary’s authority to add these four diseases and may have even impeded action.  Even more troubling is the possibility that the Administration is outweighing the cost of adding these diseases over those veterans in need of VA benefits and health care. Three of these pending presumptive diseases have been held up for more than three years, leaving affected veterans, family members and survivors waiting.


About Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
Founded in 1896, the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America is the oldest active veterans’ organization in America. JWV is dedicated to upholding America’s democratic traditions and fighting bigotry, prejudice, injustice, and discrimination of all kinds. As a national organization, JWV represents the voice of America’s Jewish veterans on issues related to veterans’ benefits, foreign policy, and national security. JWV also commits itself to the assistance of oppressed Jews worldwide.

October 30, 2019

It takes someone with great bravery and love of country to join the Armed Services of the United States.

Anyone who does is a patriot – including Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who served honorably in Iraq, received a Purple Heart, and continues his service today.
The Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A condemns anyone who feels otherwise.

As the oldest continually operating veterans’ organization for Jews, JWV will always stand up against anyone who questions the patriotism of a Jewish member of the military.

About Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
Founded in 1896, the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America is the oldest active veterans’ organization in America. JWV is dedicated to upholding America’s democratic traditions and fighting bigotry, prejudice, injustice, and discrimination of all kinds. As a national organization, JWV represents the voice of America’s Jewish veterans on issues related to veterans’ benefits, foreign policy, and national security. JWV also commits itself to the assistance of oppressed Jews worldwide.

October 28, 2019

The Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America (JWV) supports the Stopping Executive Overreach on Military Appropriations Act (SEOMA) proposed by U.S. Senator Patty Murray of Washington, as well as Sens. Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, Patrick Leahy, and Brian Schatz.

JWV supports the portions of the legislation that would require President Trump and all future presidents to receive approval from Congress before redirecting military funds during a national emergency; prohibit military funds from being used to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border; and return $3.6 billion taken for the wall to the military construction projects for which it was originally allocated.

From the beginning, JWV has strongly opposed the Trump administration’s efforts to divert military funding to aid with the construction of the wall, which is not a military project, along the border.   President Trump’s unilateral declaration of a national emergency does not justify him diverting funds from the military construction budget for the wall.

JWV calls on the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to pass SEOMA as soon as possible, and calls on President Trump to stop diverting funds from military projects in order to fund the construction of a border wall.

About Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
Founded in 1896, the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America is the oldest active veterans’ organization in America. JWV is dedicated to upholding America’s democratic traditions and fighting bigotry, prejudice, injustice, and discrimination of all kinds. As a national organization, JWV represents the voice of America’s Jewish veterans on issues related to veterans’ benefits, foreign policy, and national security. JWV also commits itself to the assistance of oppressed Jews worldwide.

October 27, 2019

The mission statement of the Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A. (JWV) compels us “to combat the powers of bigotry and darkness wherever originating and whatever their target.”

Today we mark one year since the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history.  JWV continues to pray for the families of the 11 people killed, as well as the six who were injured at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on October 27, 2018.

The anniversary of this horrific event comes shortly after the American Jewish Committee revealed disturbing news about anti-Semitism in the United States.  Nearly nine out of every ten American Jews believe that anti-Semitism is a problem in our country, and more than one in eight believe it has increased in the past five years.

JWV will continue its commitment to fighting anti-Semitism wherever it exists and speaking up for not only Jewish veterans, but the Jewish people.

About Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
Founded in 1896, the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America is the oldest active veterans’ organization in America. JWV is dedicated to upholding America’s democratic traditions and fighting bigotry, prejudice, injustice, and discrimination of all kinds. As a national organization, JWV represents the voice of America’s Jewish veterans on issues related to veterans’ benefits, foreign policy, and national security. JWV also commits itself to the assistance of oppressed Jews worldwide.

October 11, 2019

As we approach the one year anniversary of the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America (JWV) condemns the attempted Yom Kippur attack at a synagogue in Halle, Germany.

JWV is thankful a locked door prevented the gunman from entering the synagogue, and carrying out a massacre during one of the holiest days for the Jewish people.

We mourn for the individual killed outside the synagogue, and the gunman’s other victim.

As reports from Germany and right here in the United States show a rise in anti-Semitic actions, JWV will continue to fight against all acts of violence against the Jewish people.

About Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
Founded in 1896, the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America is the oldest active veterans’ organization in America. JWV is dedicated to upholding America’s democratic traditions and fighting bigotry, prejudice, injustice, and discrimination of all kinds. As a national organization, JWV represents the voice of America’s Jewish veterans on issues related to veterans’ benefits, foreign policy, and national security. JWV also commits itself to the assistance of oppressed Jews worldwide.

October 8, 2019

The Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America (JWV), strongly opposes the Trump administration’s efforts to divert military funding to aid with the construction of a wall, which is not a military project, on the U.S.-Mexico border.

On September 4, the Pentagon announced a list of $3.6 billion in military construction projects that will be put on hold, as the money allocated for those projects is used to construct a border wall.  Some of the 127 projects that will lose money include schools and daycare centers.

President Trump’s unilateral declaration of a national emergency does not justify him diverting funds from the military construction budget for the wall.

JWV calls on President Donald Trump to stop diverting funds from military projects in order to fund the construction of a border wall.

About Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
Founded in 1896, the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America is the oldest active veterans’ organization in America. JWV is dedicated to upholding America’s democratic traditions and fighting bigotry, prejudice, injustice, and discrimination of all kinds. As a national organization, JWV represents the voice of America’s Jewish veterans on issues related to veterans’ benefits, foreign policy, and national security. JWV also commits itself to the assistance of oppressed Jews worldwide.

The Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America (JWV) is joining with others in The Military Coalition to call on Congress to protect the interests of service members in the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The JWV wants to ensure the NDAA includes among other items, a pay raise for members of the military, the elimination of medical billets, and elimination of the Survivor Benefit Plan/Dependency Indemnity Compensation offset.

The Military Coalition, along with JWV has sent a letter highlighting these priorities for the NDAA to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees.   Please click here for a copy of the letter.

About Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
Founded in 1896, the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America is the oldest active veterans’ organization in America. JWV is dedicated to upholding America’s democratic traditions and fighting bigotry, prejudice, injustice, and discrimination of all kinds. As a national organization, JWV represents the voice of America’s Jewish veterans on issues related to veterans’ benefits, foreign policy, and national security. JWV also commits itself to the assistance of oppressed Jews worldwide.

The Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A. (JWV) is calling on Chancellor Timothy White of San Francisco State University to provide some answers about Facebook posts that violate California Education Code 89005.5.  While JWV is pleased with President Mahoney’s efforts to create a welcoming campus climate for Jewish students, there are still images from AMED Director Rabab Abdulhadi on SFSU’s Facebook page, as well as a post linking readers to a website where they can support Abdulhadi.   JWV is one of 80 organizations calling on Chancellor White and California State University General Counsel Andrew Jones to say whether they feel the posts violate California state law, and how they plan to address the matter.  The letter is posted below in its entirety.

Dear Chancellor White and General Counsel Jones,

Last month our 80 organizations asked SFSU President Mahoney to uphold her university’s obligations under a recent legal settlement by addressing the hate-filled on-line postings of an SFSU academic unit that appears to clearly violate California Education Code  89005.5. (Please see our letter). In subsequent communications that we received from President Mahoney, we were pleased to learn of the university’s recent efforts to create a welcoming campus climate for Jewish students, as well as steps the university’s Senate will soon be taking to review social media policies. However, we remain deeply concerned that an image from AMED Director Abdulhadi stating “Zionism = Racism” and “Boycott! Divest! Sanction!”, as well as the program’s re-posting of Abdulhadi’s statement declaring “welcoming Zionists to campus…to be a declaration of war against Arabs, Muslims, [and] Palestinians,” remain visible on AMED at SFSU’s Facebook page.

So too, now, is a recent AMED at SFSU posting that links readers to the website “SupportProfAbdulhadi.org” and includes a request for readers to “Support and Donate to our legal fund: launchgood.com/supportRabab,”  which links to a webpage explaining that the money being solicited from readers is to be used to fight “the Israel Lobby” and to pay for Prof. Abdulhadi’s lawsuits against SFSU. Like the other two AMED at SFSU postings, this one, too, apparently violates California law: CA Government Code section 8314 states that it is unlawful for any state employee to use public resources for personal gain.

When we raised our serious concerns about the apparent illegality of the postings with SFSU, the response was that the AMED Facebook page is a private page unaffiliated with the university.  That response is completely insufficient. The official AMED logo and “San Francisco State University” are displayed front and center for all to see. Furthermore, a suggested university disclaimer that the views of the site “are not those of the university” will not address the continued blatant misuse of an SFSU program’s logo and the name of the university. An SFSU academic program should never be allowed to use its departmental logo and the name “San Francisco State University” to disseminate politically-motivated and hate-filled messages. 

It is important to point out that we are not calling for you to shut down the AMED at SFSU Facebook page or to suppress Professor Abdulhadi’s speech as a private individual. Indeed, she is free to engage in whatever forms of speech she likes on her own private social media accounts. However, Professor Abdulhadi and the program she directs continue to use official university channels to disseminate highly offensive materials and to engage in activities that appear to violate at least two California state laws. The longer these illegal, venomous postings bearing the imprimatur of an academic program and the name of “San Francisco State University” are permitted by President Mahoney and your own administration to remain online, and university faculty are allowed to flagrantly misuse the name and resources of the university, the more deeply concerned we become for the safety and well-being of Jewish students, and all students, at SFSU.

Since, to date, SFSU has been unwilling to acknowledge and address this very serious matter, we are turning to you. Do you consider the three AMED at SFSU postings we have cited to be violations of California state law? If so, please let us know how you intend to address this matter. If not, please explain to us why these three postings, which seem to be egregious violations of both the law and the public trust, are not being addressed by your administration.

Thank you for your consideration,

About Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
Founded in 1896, the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America is the oldest active veterans’ organization in America. JWV is dedicated to upholding America’s democratic traditions and fighting bigotry, prejudice, injustice, and discrimination of all kinds. As a national organization, JWV represents the voice of America’s Jewish veterans on issues related to veterans’ benefits, foreign policy, and national security. JWV also commits itself to the assistance of oppressed Jews worldwide.

The Jewish War Veterans of the USA is delighted to announce that Harvey Weiner was elected National Commander at the 124th Annual National Convention in Richmond, Virginia.

Harvey served as the National Judge Advocate since 2013.  He previously served on the National Executive Committee, as Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Committee and as Vice President of the National Court.  He is the past Commander of the Massachusetts Department and past Post Commander of the Newton-Brookline Post #211.  He is a life member of the JWV, the Vietnam Veterans of America and the Disabled American Veterans.  He is a life member of and General Counsel to the National Museum of American Jewish Military History.

Harvey is a Vietnam War combat veteran, who, as an Army Captain, was an intelligence advisor to the Vietnamese.  His combat experience includes small raids, night ambushes, mortar and rocket attacks, sniper fire and land mines.  He was the recipient of the Bronze Star (M) among other decorations.  After the war, he returned to Ft. Dix, N.J., where he defended 38 courts martial and was a Chief Investigating Officer.

Harvey is a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Accredited Attorney and is admitted to both the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.  He has been trained and certified as a veterans’ mediator and has assisted in the training of other veterans’ mediators.

Harvey is active in the Jewish community. He is past president of Temple Beth Avodah in Newton and was on its Executive Board for 25 years.  He has been the JWV representative on the Greater Boston Jewish Community Relations Council for 13 years.

Harvey has practiced civil litigation in Boston at Peabody & Arnold for over 47 years.  He is president of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation and past president of the Federal Bar Association (Mass. Chapter), the Boston Inn of Court, and the Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association.

Harvey has been married for over 52 years to Linda, who was a Waiting Wife, has two adult children, one granddog and lives in Newton, Massachusetts.

We wish Harvey a successful year!

JWV strongly condemns the mass shootings in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims of these horrific acts of white national terrorism.  For those injured, we pray for quick and complete recoveries.

JWV urges Congress and local and state governments to take action, legislatively and  administratively, to do whatever is necessary to reduce the potential of future acts of this nature.