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 Read more
UPDATE: The Jewish Welfare Board’s Jewish Chaplains Council — which works with the military to provide support to Jewish service members — published a notice saying they would wait for the outcome of the investigation but that “Jewish services continue at Fort Campbell.”
Fort Campbell’s public affairs announced the Army post would be welcoming a new Distinctive Religious Group Leader (DRGL) for the Jewish community in May.
The volunteer position, referred to as a Distinctive Religious Group Leader, provides Friday night Shabbat services and holy day observances on post. They are certified by recognized religious organizations, and meet the religious needs of soldiers and their family members that military chaplains cannot meet, Jenkins said.
“Pending certification, Fort Campbell continues to provide a DRGL to its Jewish community,” Jenkins said.
Just a few days ago Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s complaint against Fort Campbell went public, in which his group essentially accused the Fort Campbell chaplains of anti-Semitism in the “firing” of Read more
Jews in Green highlights the annual push by Kosher Troops to provide “High Holiday package shipments” to Jewish US military personnel around the world.
In the testimonials, there’s a telling thanks:
I want to let you know that your Passover packages arrived on the USS Gonzalez yesterday. None too soon! We had a challenging Passover, because many of our supplies did not arrive in time…Our Jewish Sailors…were facing the remaining Passover day without foods Kosher for Passover.
Then your packages arrived yesterday. What a blessing Read more
It is not uncommon for people of a religious faith–Christian or not–to occasionally speak of the difficulty of celebrating their faith while in the military. This is particularly true in intense training environments, as well as the obvious restricted areas of combat. The military culture is sometimes hostile (even unintentionally) to the spirit of a religious faith, and the logistical environment sometimes restricts the ability to fully exercise one’s faith.
Despite the challenges encountered, it is important to highlight the fact that the US military has a responsive environment of both commanders and Chaplains to see to the religious needs of all of its servicemembers. Though there are obvious logistical hurdles in some cases, there is no institutional support for or bias against any particular faith. In fact, the opposite is true.
For example, the Aleph Institute, a DoD Chaplain endorsing organization and valuable support agency for Jews in the US military, recently said they had to come to the rescue of a Soldier seeking spiritual resources, and because of “red tape” a Jewish Soldier has “almost no chance” of getting spiritual resources like prayer books and kosher field rations.
History, however, demonstrates the opposite. In fact, Jewish military Read more