Jeb Leader Urges Action to Help Jewish Servicemen Improve, Deepen, Jewish Ties
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Jeb Leader Urges Action to Help Jewish Servicemen Improve, Deepen, Jewish Ties

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The American Jewish community “must do whatever we can” to improve the Jewish knowledge of Jews in the military, “so that when they complete their duty tours and return to civilian life they will become full and active members of the American Jewish community,” Robert L. Adler, the new national chairman of the Armed Forces and Veterans Services Committee of the National Jewish Welfare Board, stated in remarks prepared for delivery tomorrow to the biennial convention of the JWB.

“I feel strongly that we must do whatever we can to quicken their Jewish ties,” Adler said of Jews in the military. They are “always a small minority,” he pointed out; their families “are not part of a normal community since they have to live under orders and may be uprooted at any time,” and “Jewish volunteers often have only limited loyalties to the Jewish tradition.”

“The American Jewish community has the choice,” Adler said. “We can cut them adrift and assure that they are lost to Jewish life, or we can try to draw them close and keep them Jewish.” That, he concluded, “is the great challenge in our Armed Forces.”

(Adler, a Chicago communal leader, was instrumental in arranging for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency Weekly News Digest to be sent to every Jewish military chaplain in the US armed forces throughout the world to keep them and Jewish soldiers informed on what is happening in Jewish life at home and abroad.)


Dr. Eugene B. Borowitz, editor of Sh’ma and professor of Jewish thought at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, told the convention today that he foresaw a Jewish cultural explosion in the United States in the coming decade. One factor, he said, is “the increased ethnic self-confidence in the Jewish community.” as a result of which “a greater proportion of Jews than we have yet seen in American Jewry, particularly young people, are determined to shape their life through their Jewish heritage.”

A second factor, he stated, is “the cultural experience and know-how of the Jewish community,” which is “at an all-time high” because American Jews “have transformed themselves from immigrants to natives and from the culturally deprived to the most culture-conscious element in America.”

In ceremonies tomorrow, Col. Aryeh Lev of the US Army Reserve will receive the Legion of Merit, the highest award for noncombat service, for his “outstanding service” as “the key military religious consultant to the Chiefs of Chaplains on all Jewish denominational matters. Rabbi Lev, who will be 60 on June 6, was born in Jerusalem.

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