Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

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Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
Jewish War Veterans logo.jpg
Abbreviation JWV
Formation 1896
Headquarters 1811 R Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
Membership
About 15,000
National Commander
COL Carl A. Singer
Website jwv.org

The Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America (also referred to as the Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A., the Jewish War Veterans, or JWV) is an American Jewish veterans' organization created in 1896 by Civil War veterans to prove that Jews have proudly served this country since the Revolutionary Era.[1][2] It has an estimated 15,000 members, ranging from World War II to current conflicts and active duty personnel.

History and purpose[edit]

The Jewish War Veterans was established in 1896.[3] The group holds a Congressional charter under Title 36 of the United States Code.[4][5]

Organization[edit]

National Museum of American Jewish Military History
National Museum of American Jewish Military History.JPG
Established September 2, 1958
Location 1811 R Street NW
Washington DC 20009-1603
President Joseph Zoldan, PNC
Public transit access Dupont Circle, Q Street Exit, Washington Metro Red Line
Website http://www.nmajmh.org

The JWV is organized into, in descending order of rank, a National Commander, a National Executive Committee, departments, district or county councils, and posts. There are also subsidiary organizations, including the Ladies Auxiliary, posts or other echelons created outside the United States, and any other subsidiary organizations established by a two-thirds vote of the National Executive Committee.[6]

The National Convention is the annual assembly of the JWV, in which "supreme power" is vested in.[6] The National Convention usually takes place over a week in a major U.S. city determined by the National Executive Committee.[6] The 117th Annual National Convention in 2012, for example, was held August 5–12 in Norfolk, Virginia. Membership at National Conventions is restricted to voting members of the National Executive Committee who shall vote at the same time with their posts and delegates.[6] Each post may send up to one delegate and one alternate for each ten members.[6]

Membership[edit]

Membership eligibility is established in the JWV's National Constitution, which lists the forms of membership as active, associate, honorary, in-service, posthumous, life, and distinguished life, and provides that "No person who promotes, or is a member of any organization or group which believes in, or advocates, bigotry or the overthrow of the United States government by force of arms or subversion" shall be eligible for membership.[7]

Activities[edit]

The Jewish War Veterans divides its activities into four areas: patriotic, Jewish, service, and affinity.

Patriotic[edit]

The Jewish War Veterans engage in advocacy to preserve religious freedom and separation of church and state as it relates to the U.S. military.[8] Among other activities, the group has criticized Evangelical proselytizing at the United States Air Force Academy[9] and has criticized the presence of crosses on war memorials and military bases. The Jewish War Veterans filed lawsuits seeking the removal of the Mount Soledad cross[10] as well as a large cross at Camp H. M. Smith,[11] and supported a federal court decision to remove a cross on federal lands at an armed forces memorial at Mojave National Preserve.[12]

The JWV also has programs supporting the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.[13]

Each year the JWV holds a memorial service at Arlington National Cemetery commemorating Orde Wingate, a major general in the British Army and Zionist.[14] The JWV also holds Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies,[15] as well as Vietnam Veterans Memorial[16] and Korean War Veterans Memorial programs,[17] as well as programs for Vietnam veterans.[18]

The JWV also actively supports women in the military.[19]

At the Annual National Convention, the members always pass Resolutions which act as JWV's legislative priorities for the coming year. The 2016 Convention was held in Savannah, GA.. The 2017 Convention will be held for the first time in San Antonio, TX.

Jewish[edit]

The JWV manages the National Museum of American Jewish Military History (NMAJMH) in Washington, D.C., close to its headquarters.[20] Annually, JWV and NMAJMH join Sixth & I Historic Synagogue to remember our Fallen Heroes in Iraq and Afghanistan on the Friday before Memorial Day.

The organization sponsors, in cooperation with the Department of Defense, a Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust observance on military installations during the week coinciding with Yom HaShoah.[21]

The JWV administers a JWV National Reward Fund, which offers rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those who have perpetrated antisemitic and other hate crimes[22] and presents about 30 engraved Kiddush cups to Jewish graduates of the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, and U.S. Air Force Academy each year.[23]

Service[edit]

JWV gives different awards to its members for excellence and service, including awards to different departments, councils, or posts, as well as any echelon or to individuals.[24]

The group runs a "Support Our Soldiers" (SOS), which sends care packages of toiletries and kosher food, and Jewish holiday items to Jewish soldiers serving overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan, or elsewhere.[25]

The JWV also runs a disaster relief fundraising and volunteer program[26] and a National Stamp Distribution Program for "hospitalized veterans."[27]

JWV members also volunteer at VA hospitals[28] and as National Service Officers, which help veterans, regardless of religion, get the benefits they deserve and navigate the complex Department of Veterans Affairs policies.

To connect with younger generations, JWV also runs a Boy Scout and Girl Scout Program,[29] a JROTC program,[30] and the JWV Foundation runs the National Youth Achievement Program which gives grants to high school seniors entering college who are descendants of JWV members. The Foundation also hosts the National Achievement Award Program, which is an essay contest for active duty personnel and veterans looking to continue their education.[31]

Affinity[edit]

The JWV offers group insurance plans for its members,[32] as well as discount and promotion plans in cooperation with businesses including USAA [33] and Mercer.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "JEWISH WAR VETERANS OF THE U.S.A.". Jewish Virtual Library. 
  2. ^ http://www.jwv.org/images/uploads/JWV_History_Timeline.pdf
  3. ^ "Associations and Societies." The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2007. New York: World Almanac Education Group, 2007, p. 397.
  4. ^ "Article I (Name)." Jewish War Veterans of the United States National Constitution."
  5. ^ "Title 36 (Patriotic and National Observances, Ceremonies, and Organizations). Subtitle II (Patriotic and National Organizations), Part B (Organizations), Chapter 1101 (Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America, Incorporated)." Title 36 of the United States Code.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Article III (Organization)." Jewish War Veterans of the United States National Constitution.
  7. ^ "Article IV (Membership)." Jewish War Veterans of the United States National Constitution."
  8. ^ "Religious Freedom." Jewish War Veterans.
  9. ^ See "JWV Condemns Revised Interim Guidelines on Exercise of Religion in the Air Force"; "JWV Condemns Anti-Semitism and Urges Training in Cultural Diversity at Military Academies"; the Letter of JWV National Commander Louis Abramson to Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa, Jr., Superintendent, U.S. Air Force Academy; Harrison, Donald H. "Beirut 1983: An Indelible Memory" San Diego Jewish Times; and "It's the Constitution - Sir: Remarks by MeLinda Morton at the 110th JWV Annual Convention."
  10. ^ See Jewish War Veterans v. Rumsfeld (complaint), United States District Court for the Southern District of California; "Federal Answer to Trunk and Paulson's First Amended Complaint"; "JWV Condemns Efforts to Protect Mt. Soledad Cross"; "JWV Litigates Mt. Soledad Memorial"; "JWV Files Complaint to Remove Mt. Soledad Cross from Federally-owned Property"; "ACLU Represents Jewish War Veterans and San Diego Residents in Effort to Relocate Mt. Soledad Memorial," American Civil Liberties Union.
  11. ^ See Jewish War Veterans v. United States (complaint). United States District Court for the District of Columbia; and court decision.
  12. ^ "JWV Applauds Decision to Bar Mojave Cross from Public Lands." Jewish War Veterans.
  13. ^ "Boy Scouts." Jewish War Veterans.
  14. ^ "Orde Wingate." Jewish War Veterans.
  15. ^ "Memorial Day and Veterans Day." Jewish War Veterans.
  16. ^ "JWV National Vietnam Veterans Memorial Projects." Jewish War Veterans.
  17. ^ "Korean War Veterans." Jewish War Veterans.
  18. ^ "We Care About Vietnam Vets." Jewish War Veterans.
  19. ^ "Women in the Military." Jewish War Veterans.
  20. ^ "National Museum of American Jewish Military History."
  21. ^ "Days of Remembrance in the Military," Jewish War Veterans.
  22. ^ "JWV National Reward Fund," Jewish War Veterans.
  23. ^ "Service Academies (Kiddush Cups)." Jewish War Veterans.
  24. ^ "National Awards." Jewish War Veterans.
  25. ^ "SOS Program." Jewish War Veterans.
  26. ^ "National Disaster Relief." Jewish War Veterans.
  27. ^ "Stamp Distribution." Jewish War Veterans.
  28. ^ "Veterans Affairs Volunteer Services." Jewish War Veterans.
  29. ^ "Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America - National Scouting Program". www.jwv.org. Retrieved 2016-09-29. 
  30. ^ "Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America - National JROTC Program". www.jwv.org. Retrieved 2016-09-29. 
  31. ^ "Grants | Jewish War Veterans of the USA Foundation". jwvusafoundation.org. Retrieved 2016-09-29. 
  32. ^ "Insurance." Jewish War Veterans.
  33. ^ "[1]." Jewish War Veterans.

External links[edit]