The Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) is reaffirming its commitment in joining the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism (FCAS) as an official partner of #StandUpToJewishHate. This national campaign encourages all Americans to combat antisemitism by using the #🟦 as a symbol of unifying support to combat antisemitism. Jews make up only 2.4% of the American population[1], yet are the victims of 55% of religious-based hate crimes[2]. This alarming statistic is the cornerstone of this new campaign created by Robert K. Kraft and his family. JWV joins the Foundation and numerous other partnered organizations including the Anti-Defamation League, Hillel International, Urban League, The Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs, National Governors Association, and the League of Women Voters to stand up to Jewish hate.

Through the #StandUpToJewishHate campaign, the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism established 🟦, the Blue Square emoji, as a simple, but powerful symbol of solidarity and support for the Jewish community. The 🟦 is shared across the country on TV screens, billboards, and social media feeds. The initial roll-out included popular NBC shows such as The Voice, The Kelly Clarkson Show , and TODAY with an introduction to the 🟦 and a discussion on antisemitism.

“The #StandUpToJewishHate campaign is designed to raise awareness for the fight against antisemitism, specifically among non-Jewish audiences and to help all Americans understand that there is a role for each of us to play in combating a problem that is unfortunately all too prevalent in communities across the country today,” said Robert K. Kraft, Founder of the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism. “We must stand up and take action against the rise of all hate and I hope everyone will post and share the Blue Square to show their support in this fight.”

Founded in 1896, the Jewish War Veterans of the USA is the premier voice for Jewish uniformed service members and veterans in the United States. The JWV affirms that Jewish men and women have served and continue to serve honorably and heroically in the military forces of the United States of America during peacetime and war. The JWV defends the rights and benefits of all service members, veterans, and their families. We combat against antisemitism and continue to support the State of Israel.

JWV National Commander, Colonel Barry Lischinsky (Retired) stated “As the only Jewish Veterans Service Organization, JWV opposes all forms of hatred, discrimination and bigotry but is especially outspoken on antisemitism. Our mission of combating antisemitism becomes even more important and must remain at the forefront of our actions.”

“As instances of antisemitism continue to rise across the country, JWV asks all Americans to be vigilant, learn, and help educate our fellow citizens about antisemitism. JWV is doing its part by coalition building with organizations like Foundation to Combat Antisemitism (#🟦) and others across the Nation. We are partnering with StandWithUs to address antisemitism at colleges and universities.”

JWV stands ready to be a resource for individuals and organizations in helping to educate Americans. We believe that education is the key to reducing antisemitic actions and incidents in America and around the world.

JWV encourages our members and our allied partners to #StandUpToJewishHate in a number of ways:

  1. Post and share 🟦 – an emoji already available on most smartphones – as a hashtag across social media alongside a message of support for the Jewish community and commitment to stand up to Jewish hate.
  2. Activate your network by making them aware of the #StandUpToJewishHate campaign and how they can use 🟦 as a powerful symbol of solidarity with the Jewish community.
  3. Tell your story to followers on social media, describing an instance where you’ve either encountered antisemitism and how it affected you or witnessed someone standing up against hatred towards Jews.
  4. Visit www.StandUpToJewishHate.org and subscribe to the Foundation’s ”From the Command Center” e-newsletter to keep up to date on how antisemitism is spreading online, learn ways to identify and report it, and find helpful tools and resources around antisemitism.
  5. Follow the #StandUpToJewishHate campaign at @StandUpToJewishHate on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok to keep up to date with 🟦 and learn more about antisemitism.
  6. Report antisemitism immediately when you see it, and if it is an emergency, dial 911. You can learn more about how best to report antisemitism by visiting www.StandUpToJewishHate.org.

[1] “Jewish Americans in 2020,” Pew Research Center, May 21, 2021, https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/2021/05/11/the-size-of-the-u-s-jewish-population/

[2] FBI data released in October 2023, covering crimes reported in 2022, shows that about 55% of all religion-based hate crimes were driven by anti-Jewish bias.

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About Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
Founded in 1896, the Jewish War Veterans (JWV) of the USA is the premier voice for Jewish uniformed service members and veterans in the United States. The JWV affirms that Jewish men and women serve honorably and heroically in the military forces of the United States of America during peacetime and war. The JWV defends the rights and benefits of all service members and veterans, combats antisemitism, and supports the State of Israel.

On Saturday, April 13, 2024, Iran launched hundreds of deadly drones, ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles in an attack on Israel. Iran’s proxies, Hezbollah, the Houthis, Hamas, joined in the attack. Missiles were launched toward Israel from multiple geographic locations, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.

Thankfully, Israel, and its allied partners in the US, UK, Jordan, and France, defended against this unprecedented, direct attack. Ninety-nine (99) percent of all the drones and missiles were intercepted, with the only reported hit causing minor damage to an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) base.

“JWV condemns the actions of Iran and their proxies in the strongest possible way and stands in solidarity with Israel and the allied partners to defend it borders and its citizens,” said JWV National Commander Colonel Barry Lischinsky, (Retired). “JWV deeply appreciates the efforts of the IDF, its allies, and all that stand against the evil of Iran’s actions in seeking to destroy the nation state of Israel.”

 Am Yisrael Chai

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About Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
Founded in 1896, the Jewish War Veterans (JWV) of the USA is the premier voice for Jewish uniformed service members and veterans in the United States. The JWV affirms that Jewish men and women serve honorably and heroically in the military forces of the United States of America during peacetime and war. The JWV defends the rights and benefits of all service members and veterans, combats antisemitism, and supports the State of Israel.

On April 2, 2024, the Jewish War Veterans of the USA signed the 4+1 Commitment — a program developed by Blue Star Families, Hiring Our Heroes, and Department of Defense’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership to hire and support military spouses. This program is a voluntary commitment by employers to adopt policies that expand employment and career opportunities for military spouses.

“JWV is committed to supporting veterans and service members, and believes that obligation extends to their families, including caregivers and survivors. In the past four months, two military spouses have joined the JWV team,” said JWV National Commander COL Barry Lischinsky (Retired). “JWV has benefited from their knowledge of the military and veteran communities in carrying out our mission. Both hires underscore our commitment to the 4+1 pledge and in supporting our service members and their spouses.”

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About Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
Founded in 1896, the Jewish War Veterans (JWV) of the USA is the premier voice for Jewish uniformed service members and veterans in the United States. The JWV affirms that Jewish men and women serve honorably and heroically in the military forces of the United States of America during peacetime and war. The JWV defends the rights and benefits of all service members and veterans, combats antisemitism, and supports the State of Israel.

On Wednesday, March 27, 2024, former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman passed away at the age of 82. Senator Lieberman made history as the first Jewish vice presidential nominee of a major party when he was selected as Al Gore’s running mate in the 2000 election. He was an observant Jew, a renowned supporter of Israel, and a distinguished public servant who served four terms in the U.S. Senate.

“Senator Lieberman was an inspiration to American Jews. He was dedicated to fighting antisemitism during his time in Congress and as a board member of JWV’s partner the ‘Combat Antisemitism Movement,’” stated JWV National Commander U.S. Colonel Barry Lischinsky (Retired). “Senator Lieberman’s tireless public work, and steadfast commitment to freedom will serve as his legacy and a continued inspiration to Jews everywhere. My sincerest condolences go out to Senator Lieberman’s family including his beloved wife and his children.”

May his memory be a blessing.

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About Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
Founded in 1896, the Jewish War Veterans (JWV) is the premier voice for Jewish uniformed service members and veterans in the United States. The JWV affirms that Jewish men and women serve honorably and heroically in the military forces of the United States of America during peacetime and war. The JWV defends the rights and benefits of all service members and veterans, fights antisemitism, and supports the State of Israel.

The Honorable Denis McDonough wrote to JWV stating that the VA “stands with [us] during this tragic time for the Jewish people in Israel, in the United States and around the world.”

National Commander Barry Lischinsky responded “[their] words demonstrate solidarity and unity and underscore the meaning of We Stand with Israel.”

Both letters can be read in their entirety here:

Today, in the early morning hours of Shabbat, the terrorist group Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement) launched an unprovoked and vicious surprise attack on Israel, killing and wounding many Israeli civilian men, women, and children.

“JWV condemns the assault against Israel and emphasizes that terrorist actions are never justified. JWV supports Israel, offers condolences to those who lost loved ones, offers prayers for the wounded and those who have been kidnapped by Hamas,” said National Commander Colonel Barry Lischinsky, USA (Retired). Lischinsky continued “JWV stands with Israel, its military, and its citizens and calls on our members and all Americans to join us in condemning this terrorist attack.”

JWV will continue to monitor details as events unfold.

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About Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
Founded in 1896, the Jewish War Veterans (JWV) is the premier voice for Jewish uniformed service members and veterans in the United States. The JWV affirms that Jewish men and women serve honorably and heroically in the military forces of the United States of America during peacetime and war. The JWV defends the rights and benefits of all service members and veterans, fights antisemitism, and supports the State of Israel.

The Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America (JWV) remains deeply concerned that the Palestine Writes Literature Festival will be held on campus September 22-24, 2023. The festival coincides with the Jewish High Holiday of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and takes place next to the location that Jewish students will be holding high holiday worship services. JWV National Commander retired US Army Colonel Barry Lischinsky stated, “University leadership should be sensitive to the needs of Jewish students and faculty and not provide a venue or platform for hate speech of any kind on campus.” Lischinsky made clear, “The University must be responsive to its students and increase security around Jewish activities and move the festival to a different location, preferably off campus grounds.”

JWV urges alumni and others to write University President M. Elizabeth Magill to disapprove of the “Palestine Writes Literature Festival” and to prevent the University from providing space to those that promote hate speech, bigotry, and antisemitic remarks and events on campus. Lischinsky reiterated that “JWV will continue to stand against hatred, bigotry, and combating antisemitism wherever and whenever it occurs.”

Background

Most “Palestine Writes Literature Festival” speakers have little to do with celebrating Palestinian literature or promoting the culture of Palestinian writers and artists. Guest speakers have published antisemitic statements in the past which conflict with the University of Pennsylvania’s antisemitism policy. Speakers have previously given anti-Jewish speeches which are clearly “hate speech” and are again in violation of the university policy and the U.S. Constitution related to freedom of speech.

Members and patrons of the Jewish War Veterans and others have fought, and many have given the ultimate sacrifice, to preserve the rights covered by the U.S. Constitution. While there is nothing illegal about the University of Pennsylvania event itself, the event speakers’ anti-Jewish hate remarks should not be allowed on campus.

About Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
Founded in 1896, the Jewish War Veterans (JWV) is the premier voice for Jewish uniformed service members and veterans in the United States. The JWV affirms that Jewish men and women serve honorably and heroically in the military forces of the United States of America during peacetime and war. The JWV defends the rights and benefits of all service members and veterans, fights antisemitism, and supports the State of Israel.

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The Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A. (JWV) is pleased to announce it has elected its 92nd National Commander, Colonel Barry Lischinsky, USA, Retired of Massachusetts and 4th National Vice Commander, Command Sergeant Major Gary Ginsburg, USA, Retired of New York during its 128th Annual National Convention in Jacksonville, Florida.

National Commander (NC) Barry Lischinsky joined JWV while serving on active duty in 2000 and became a life member after his retirement from the military.

NC Lischinsky’s goal “Mission first, Veterans always,” is aligned with our JWV National Constitution Preamble, “We must continue to advocate for all Veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors. We must tell our story, that Jews served faithfully with honor and distinction, in every conflict throughout our history. We must continue to counter antisemitism, bigotry, and hate. Increasing our Membership must be given a top priority to help achieve our goals. It all starts by increasing our visibility and working with our local community partners.”

NC Lischinsky has held command and staff positions at all levels within the Jewish War Veterans including National Vice Commander, National Chief of Staff, National Membership Chairman, Commander Department of Massachusetts, and Commander North Shore Post 220.

Lischinsky began his 34-year military career in 1969 as an enlisted combat medic and throughout the years achieved the rank of Colonel. Lischinsky relinquished brigade level command in July 2004.

In September 2007, Colonel Lischinsky served as a Senior Army Instructor, Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps in two Boston, Massachusetts public high schools. There he instilled in high school students the core values of citizenship, leadership, and service to the community.  In 2015, Lischinsky became Deputy Superintendent at the Soldiers’ Home in Chelsea, Massachusetts, and one year later was appointed Acting Superintendent by the Governor. Lischinsky retired from State service in March 2017.

National Vice Commander (NVC) Gary Ginsburg has been a life member of both the Jewish War Veterans (JWV) and the National Museum of American Jewish Military History since 2016. Ginsburg is the third generation of his family to serve in the JWV. His grandfather and father were longtime JWV members of Post 131 in Syracuse, NY.

“I am humbled and honored to serve as the national vice commander in support of the longest servicing veterans’ organization in the United States. I will focus on increasing membership of the Jewish men and women veterans who served honorably in defense of our nation,” stated Ginsburg.

He held multiple leadership positions for the JWV Department of New York following 33 years as a Soldier in the US Army.  He served both in the states and overseas. Gary Ginsburg retired in the rank of Command Sergeant Major culminating with three assignments at brigade and battalion levels of command.

He graduated with honors from the US Army Sergeants Major Academy in 1999 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University and a graduate degree (using his GI Bill benefits) from the University of Southern California.

We wish Lischinsky and Ginsburg a successful year!

About Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
Founded in 1896, the Jewish War Veterans (JWV) is the premier voice for Jewish uniformed service members and veterans in the United States. The JWV affirms that Jewish men and women serve honorably and heroically in the military forces of the United States of America during peacetime and war. The JWV defends the rights and benefits of all service members and veterans, fights antisemitism, and supports the State of Israel.

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The Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) expressed outrage at the remarks of U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA) given on Saturday in Chicago stating that Israel is a “racist state.”

JWV National Commander Colonel Nelson L. Mellitz, USAF (Retired) denounced the comments of Congresswoman Jayapal (WA) as “insensitive, hurtful, and just wrong.” As antisemitism is on the rise, remarks like hers only fuel the fires of hate and bigotry. “JWV continues to stand in support of Israel as we have since its rebirth as well as vehemently oppose antisemitism, wherever and whenever it occurs, as we have since our founding in 1896,” said Mellitz.

About Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
Founded in 1896, the Jewish War Veterans (JWV) is the premier voice for Jewish uniformed service members and veterans in the United States. The JWV affirms that Jewish men and women serve honorably and heroically in the military forces of the United States of America during peacetime and war. The JWV defends the rights and benefits of all service members and veterans, fights antisemitism, and supports the State of Israel.

“Flyers recently distributed by the Goyim Defense League in Nassau County, New York are extremely antisemitic and filled with hate.  They are despicable and threats to any Americans must be dealt with swiftly,’’ said Colonel Nelson L. Mellitz, USAF, retired, National Commander of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV).

The flyer singles out current and former Jewish Members of Congress and contains a weapon in the upper left corner with a Star of David placed on the foreheads of elected officials from several states.  Mellitz “implores New York law enforcement officials to fully prosecute the individuals responsible for the flyers.” Law enforcement confirmed the flyer was found at a Jewish house of worship and at several residences in the Plainview, NY area.

About Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
Founded in 1896, the Jewish War Veterans (JWV) is the premier voice for Jewish uniformed service members and veterans in the United States. The JWV affirms that Jewish men and women serve honorably and heroically in the military forces of the United States of America during peacetime and war. The JWV defends the rights and benefits of all service members and veterans, fights antisemitism, and supports the State of Israel.