Barry accepting his nomination for National Commander at Convention.

Dear Friends,

First let me say how honored and humble I am to serve as this year’s National Commander.  I will do my best to live up to your expectations.  Please feel free to contact me with any suggestions and/or questions at nationalcmdr@jwv.org.

The High Holy Days are a time for reflection and new beginnings.  As we usher in 5779, I challenge you to reflect on the many good things we at JWV do for our veterans and service members.  This time of year we ask G—d for strength to make ourselves better than we were last year and remove the burden of regret from last year.  My personal wish is for each of you and your families to have a sweet, healthy and successful new year.

The year started off with a bang!  The Tampa convention was one of the best in memory.  The revised format has put new emphasis on workshops which will help us improve efficiency in delivering our various programs.  Should you have suggestions for workshops, best practices sessions or speakers, please contact Anna Selman at National Headquarters or email me at the above address.  Congratulations to our National staff and Convention Committee for all their hard work.

Barry serving the homeless at Post 256’s Annual BBQ for the homeless.

August saw me in New Orleans and Shreveport to say hello and offer assistance to the Posts in both cities.  In early September, I joined Post 256 in Dallas for their annual BBQ luncheon for homeless Veterans.  Over 120 veterans were served a delicious lunch. Later in September, I had the opportunity to visit the Capt. David Greene Post 344 in Denver.  In Boulder, Colorado, I had the opportunity and to meet with the University of Colorado ROTC Cadet Corps and the University Veteran Assistance Officer.  This fall will be equally busy with Veteran’s Day activities in Washington DC as well as Brussels Belgium, SHAPE and NATO Headquarters.  As we remember the end of WWI, let us not forget the heroes of that war.  I encourage each echelon to develop a remembrance in your own community.  We will make a stop in London to visit with the members of the Association of Jewish Ex-Service Men and Women (AJEX).

This year’s Allied Mission trip to Israel has been totally revamped!  Please review the itinerary located elsewhere in the paper.  With the help of David Dinour and Aviatours Tours, a very special trip has been planned.  We believe it will appeal to Military and civilians alike, as well as those Allied Veterans our various Departments will be sending on this exciting trip. As an added bonus, an extension tour to Egypt has been scheduled.  The itinerary is certain to excite the senses and enlighten the mind. Please register now!

I am pleased to announce the renavigations of the Iraq/Afghanistan committee under the able leadership of Rochel Hyman from Arizona.  She is very attuned to the needs of our younger active duty personnel and veterans.  I know she will do much to bring them into the fold.

To the ladies of JWVA, congratulations to President Singer.  I look forward to working together for the mutual benefit of both organizations.  Together, united, we stand stronger and more efficient in carrying out our common mission.

Membership continues to be is a major goal. We need more, new and younger members.  They are out there.  Your job is to find them and let them know, regardless of age, that JWV has meaning and value to them and their families.  At last count there are over 50,000 Jewish veterans waiting to be asked to join JWV.  All they need is to be asked.  Please ASK THEM! Let us not forget about our museum.  The museum is our face in DC.  It tells what we have done and what we do.  Every member of JWV should be a member of the museum.  Post Commanders take hold of the issue and insure new and renewing members are encouraged to join.  Talk to your synagogues, JCC’s Federations and insure they make the museum a priority stop when they take students to Washington.

As a final comment, remember it is now time to renew for 2019. Review your membership roster.  Call, email or write those members in arrears. Your voting strength and NEC delegation is based on paid membership.

As we march into the future, please know that I appreciate the efforts put forward by each of you.

Sincerely,

Volume 72. Number 3. Fall 2018