By PNC Lawrence Schulman
On May 24, 2017, Gary Ginsburg and I visited West Point for their annual Baccalaureate Service for the class of 2017. Our post, David J Kauffman Post 41, has sponsored the refreshments at the Baccalaureate Service in the West Point Jewish Chapel for over 30 years.
This year, the Jewish graduating class consisted of 15 cadets – 1 woman and 14 men. The cadets come from all over the United States, including New York State as well as the State of Washington. Their first assignments range from Elgin Air Force Base to the Graduate School at MIT.
The ceremony opened with a Wall Dedication Ceremony, where the graduates’ names are added to the Wall of Names in the chapel. If you remember our history with West Point, one half of the first class of graduates were Jewish – that class graduated with two officers and one was Jewish!
This year, a new Jewish chaplain was appointed – Captain David Ruderman. They rotate Jewish chaplains every three or four years.
The service consist of a welcome to those in attendance, invocation by the chaplain, music by the Jewish Chapel Cadet Choir and a keynote address by an alumni of West Point.
This year’s speaker was BG Cindy Jebb, USMA Class of 1982. BG Jebb serves as the 14th Dean of the Academic Board. She has served in many positions in the Army – starting a s a military intelligence officer to service as a member on the Foreign Relations Council.
After his keynote address, LTC (R) Walter Stern and Bernard Stotch from the JWV Department of New York presented Kiddush cups to the men and candlestick holders to the female graduate and copies of Jewish Literacy by Rabbi Telushkin.
Department of New York was sponsored the Friday night Onegs at West Point for over fifty years. Many posts and other departments join in to make this possible. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Post 41 for more information.
Volume 71. Number 3. Fall 2017