Reagan Hails Role of Jews in U.S. Battles for Freedom in Message to Cornerstone-setting Ceremonies a
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Reagan Hails Role of Jews in U.S. Battles for Freedom in Message to Cornerstone-setting Ceremonies a

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The corner-stone of the first Jewish chapel at the United States Military Academy was laid here today at ceremonies attended by about 400 persons. A message from President Reagan hailed “the contribution of citizens of the Jewish faith who have served with distinction in every battle for freedom we Americans have fought” from pre-Revolutionary times to the present.

The message was read by Herbert Ames, president of the West Point Jewish Chapel Fund which raised $4.5 million of the $6 million needed to build the chapel which will be completed next year. The funds were donated entirely by Jewish and non-Jewish individuals and organizations through the Chapel Fund which is a non-profit organization.

When completed, the chapel will be a center for religious worship, Judaica studies and holiday observances for the Academy’s Jewish cadets, instructors, post personnel and their families. It will be open to visitors as well and will serve to familiarize non-Jewish cadets with Jewish customs, traditions and religious ritual.


Ames noted that until now, “Jewish cadets — who have attended the Academy since its first class was graduated in 1802 — have been using the chemistry lab, audito-ium or non-denominational chapel at the post cemetery for worship services. When the chapel is completed next year it will serve the religious and cultural needs of some 250 Jewish cadets, faculty and other military personnel stationed at the Academy and their dependents,”

Ground-breaking ceremonies were held in December, 1982, The Jewish chapel will stand on a bluff overlooking the parade grounds, midway between. the Protestant and Catholic chapels.

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