Fort Campbell Jewish Community Quietly Moves On
Remember the seeming hue and cry over the “firing” of Jeannette Mize (and her husband) as the Jewish lay leaders at Fort Campbell a few months ago? For all the world-ending angst that accompanied the thinly-supported public accusations, it seems no one was interested in carrying it through, including the normally verbose Michael “Mikey” Weinstein. No one has said a word in months.
For its part, Fort Campbell has also remained silent on the subject.
The Forward reported back in late May that Jewish services had resumed under a new lay leader, and they may be better than they were before:
One Jewish person on the base, who asked not to be named due to Army regulations against speaking to the press, appreciated the new leader, telling the Forward that the vibe was now more welcoming.
“It’s improved to the positive,” the person said. “In fact, more people are showing up.”
There appears to be no media coverage or statements about the Jewish chaplaincy support since May. Apparently, the trouble was “solved” — no thanks to the threats by Michael “Mikey” Weinstein.
With that in mind, several people indicated the initial “scandal” was a story only half-told, and Rabbi Elson seemed to prove that point [emphasis added]:
Rabbi Irving Elson, the director of the Jewish Welfare Board…claimed that his organization had been working with the base’s leadership to transition to a new leader since last December after receiving complaints about low attendance at Jewish events.
“Before that, we had talked with the chaplains about working with Mrs. Mize about adapting the program, changing the program…It’s an evolving Jewish community, with 18- to 24-year-olds,” Elson said. “They’re used to something different.”
This meshes with Rabbi Elson’s prior statement that support to the Jewish military community was faltering under the Mizes:
[A] review showed that [Fort Campbell’s] program was no longer meeting the needs of the Jewish soldiers of that base. Attendance at Friday night Shabbat services was dwindling to a mere two or three soldiers.
The Mizes were, in essence, already on their way out — with the support of the JWB — though they may not have liked that fact. It would seem the JWB was on board with this “transition,” the local Jewish community seems to have appreciated it, and the support for Jewish soldiers at Fort Campbell has at least returned, if not improved. It appears the only negative reactions came from Jeannette Mize and Mikey Weinstein.
And what of the accusations of sexism, anti-Semitism, and religious discrimination? What of the attacks by Jeannette Mize on the service of those “fundamentalist Christian chaplains” who anti-Semitically “snapped their fingers”? What of the cries of “persecution” and demands for court-martial by Mikey Weinstein?
It seems Weinstein saw a few minutes of internet attention, apparently received insufficient fundraising over the story, and he moved on in search of another more lucrative opportunity.
It seems Mikey Weinstein’s bombast and bluster was nothing more than that.