Memorial sought for Jewish chaplains
by Daniel Bush
Jan 18, 2011 | 2607 views | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Congressman Anthony Weiner with the leaders of Jewish war veterans groups in Queens.
Congressman Anthony Weiner with the leaders of Jewish war veterans groups in Queens.
Arlington National Cemetery has a memorial to honor Catholic and Protestant chaplains who died in service, but none for their Jewish counterparts. Congressman Anthony Weiner believes they deserve recognition, too.

Jewish chaplains have served in the armed forces since the Civil War; 13 died in World War Two, the Korean War and Vietnam. Perhaps the most famous one, Rabbi Alexander P. Good, died saving lives aboard the USS Dorchester after it was torpedoed by a German U-boat en route to Greenland.

He was posthumously awarded the Chaplain's Medal for Heroism.

“These chaplains who served their country so honorably deserve this memorial, just like those of other faiths,” Weiner said in an appearance at the Kew Forest Jewish War Veterans Post, where he proposed legislation to create a memorial plaque at the famous Washington, D.C. burial ground.

Last year, 23 members of Congress signed onto to a letter supporting the plan. Weiner said he was confident he could round up the necessary votes to have the measure passed into law.

“I believe there will be strong support for this resolution,” he said.

Weiner was joined by the leaders of various Jewish war veterans groups from Queens, among them Seymour Weber, a World War II veteran and the senior assistant commander at the Kew Forest post.

“It's very important that we not be forgotten at Arlington,” Weber said. “We were there like everybody else. We served the best we could do.”

Korea War veteran David Rivkin said he will never forget his wartime chaplain, Rabbi Kane.

“I still remember him very fondly,” said Rivkin, the commander of Post 415, in Kew Gardens-Whitestone. “He was a real nice guy, a good shoulder to cry on.”

Approximately 1,800 soldiers identified themselves as Jewish in 2009, according to the United States Army. There are 32 rabbis on active duty today.

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