By PNC Dr. Barry J. Schneider
I want to share with you an unfortunate situation concerning a fellow JWV member, Norm Wiener of Philadelphia. He lived alone in a Jewish Federation senior living unit and had no family or close friends. He was an active member of his post and had served as Post Commander. Some of you may remember him from when he joined us on the Israel trip during my time as National Commander. Dr. Michael Kapin of Fort Worth also went on that trip, and developed an ongoing friendship with Wiener which lasted until his death. The two communicated almost weekly, but that stopped abruptly after the first of the year. In the weeks leading up to Wiener’s death, Kapin and I tried to find out why Wiener was not answering calls and then his phone was disconnected. We enlisted JWV members from Philadelphia to assist in figuring out what was wrong. His housing unit, due to the privacy act, refused to provide any information. Lapin contacted the Philadelphia police and asked them to do a health and welfare check. This yielded no information. It turned out Wiener died alone on February 13. No one claimed his body and he was buried on March 29. This is unacceptable within JWV and the larger Jewish community. We have a responsibility to support our fellow veterans. I am asking you not to let this happen again. Let’s all reach out to our fellow post members. To our Post Officers, I ask you to develop a call tree, not just for meetings, but to ensure our members are not forgotten in their time of need. It is our moral obligation to care for one another. To our active-duty members, I ask you every now and then, or at least once a year, send an email or call a post officer and let them know where you are.
May Wiener’s memory be for a blessing and a reminder that we are Kol Israel, one people!
Volume 75. Number 2. 2021