By Scott Wilson, Post 639
JACKSONVILLE, Fl. – On Sunday July 15th, I was given the great honor and pleasure to present Eagle Scout Benjamin Chafetz a certificate of achievement and letter of congratulations on behalf of the National Commander Paul D. Warner PhD., and a Plaque and a gift card on behalf of the Department of Florida Commander Alan Paley. The Eagle Scout is the highest level in Scouting; the Jewish War Veterans of the USA has a great yet under used program to support scouting. Every Post should have an active scouting program, this includes our virtual Posts.
The Eagle Court of Honor was held in the chapel at the Jacksonville Jewish Center, Jacksonville Florida. This is also the home of the once thriving and slowly reorganizing Lt. Meyer Leibovitz Post #199 Jewish War Veterans of the USA. Each portion of the ceremony was symbolic of Benjamin’s journey through scouting and the principles of the Eagle Scout. After the ceremony Benjamin’s family hosted a meal in the social hall.
While being introduced to Benjamin in a group of people I was surprised that a young man that had just turned 16 was the person standing to my right in the group who had a beard that was fuller than my own. Not many that have known me over the years believe that many can grow a better beard, but I even say his beard is better. Benjamin is well spoken and an over achiever in all aspects of his life to include excelling in not 1 but 2 forms of the martial arts.
Having grown up in a scouting family myself and not progressing to Eagle Scout, I perused Jewish Youth Groups in its place. I see the structure and discipline that these young scouts have that would make wonderful members of our military in the future if that is their choice, then later become members of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA. Promoting scouting is the first step in recruiting future members, when we start with structure and team building in our Jewish youth with mentoring from our members / Post(s) we impress on young minds and hopefully have family members eligible to become members. Some of these who become members surprisingly may never have known that the Jewish War Veterans of the USA was there to fill their needs in a Veterans Organization.
Volume 72. Number 3. Fall 2018