JWV Celebrates 128th Anniversary in NYC with Ceremony and Service

By Bryn Garick, Managing Editor

On March 15, 2024, JWV celebrated its 128th anniversary as the longest-serving active Veterans Service Organization. In honor of this anniversary, JWV leadership, members, patrons, and staff celebrated at a ceremony as well as at Central Synagogue’s weekly Shabbat Service.

Post 1 organized their annual JWV Anniversary event at the Found Study, a private college residence hall formerly known as the Lexington Avenue Opera House. The Lexington Avenue Opera House was the site for the first JWV meeting back in 1896. Honored at the ceremony were the seven Jewish Civil War Veterans who organized that first meeting of the Hebrew Union Veterans Association which later became the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America. The seven honored were Jastrow Alexander, Isadore Eckstein, Isadore Isaacs, Jacob Jacobs, Joseph Steiner, Joseph Unger, and Joseph Wolf.

The keynote speaker was NC Lischinsky. Other speakers included NVC Ginsburg, DC Sidney Goldberg (NY), and JWVA President Shirley Zak (NY).

From left: DC Sidney Goldberg, Jerry Alperstein, PNC Alan Paley, Eric Spinner, NC Barry Lischinsky, Gary Glick, Paul Rosenfield, NVC Gary Ginsburg. Seated: SVP Leslie Emack, PNP Petra Kaatz, and NP Shirley Zak.

JWV’s 2023 Education Award recipients Michal Epstein of Texas A&M University and Aliza Ruttenberg of Barnard College also attended and were recognized. The two were classmates at Plano East High School in Texas.

Also among those attending were Assistant Veterans Service Center Manager Eric Hoey, VA New York Harbor Healthcare System Director Timothy Graham and Assistant Director Rosemary Cancel.

NEC Jerry Alperstein (NY) presented NC Lischinsky with a copy of the minutes from that first meeting and with a custom-made kippah by Avi the Kippah Man from Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem.

NC Lischinsky spoke about the importance of our national organization, “We are here because people need to know that Jews serve.”

The ceremony concluded with Mourners Kaddish recited by Post 1 member David Goldstein.

Following this event, JWV members were encouraged to attend Shabbat Services held at Central Synagogue. Central Synagogue organized JWV members to have reserved seating for the services. More than 20 Jewish veterans and members of the Ladies Auxiliary were present from New York, Massachusetts, Florida, and New Jersey. JWV members and patrons from around the country also watched these services streamed by the Jewish Broadcasting Service (JBS).

Apart from JWV, the Synagogue was nearly full with approximately 500 people present.

JWV was announced by Senior Rabbi, Angela Buchdahl, in her welcome remarks and people stood and applauded. JWV’s 128th birthday was also mentioned by Rabbi Maurice Salth efore the Shehechayanu and the congregation was receptive.

NED Greenberg, who streamed the event via JBS, stated, “The Shabbat Service was filled with energy and moved along at a fast pace and was uplifting as a virtual participant. I am sure those in-person must have felt the same way.”

Volume 78. Number 1. 2024