Thank You for Your Service

The 2018 Campaign Community for Needs continues to move forward. Last weekend we held our annual Super Sunday. In just five hours, we closed pledges from 15% of our current donors and received many new pledges. Congratulations to the Super Sunday Co-Chairs: David Fuks, Emily Benoit, Greg Dresher, and Max Forer.

Join us at the  Federation Gala on Thursday, November 30. Belly Laughs will be an incredibly entertaining evening. Comedian Joel Chasnoff and chef Einat Admony join forces for an evening of comedy, stories, and inspiration in one of the most insightful and entertaining programs touring the Jewish world today. Plus, there will be great food and a cooking demonstration! This event will sell out!  Register today!

Seventy-nine years ago yesterday November 9, 1938, violence against Jews broke out across the Reich. It appeared to be unplanned, set off by Germans' anger over the assassination of a German official in Paris at the hands of a Jewish teenager. In fact, German propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and other Nazis carefully organized the pogroms. In two days, over 250 synagogues were burned, over 7,000 Jewish businesses were trashed and looted, dozens of Jewish people were killed, and Jewish cemeteries, hospitals, schools, and homes were looted while police and fire brigades stood by. The programs became known asKristallnacht, the "Night of Broken Glass," for the shattered glass from the store windows that littered the streets.

The morning after the pogroms 30,000 German Jewish men were arrested for the "crime" of being Jewish and sent to concentration camps, where many of them perished. Some Jewish women were also arrested and sent to local jails. Businesses owned by Jews were not allowed to reopen unless they were managed by non-Jews. Curfews were placed on Jews, limiting the hours of the day they could leave their homes.

We all know what transpired following the "Night of Broken Glass." It is imperative that we never forget and never allow this to happen again.

“Thank you for your service.”

That is what I learned to say as a child every time I saw a person in uniform. I hope that American veterans hear these words, especially on Saturday, in honor of their service to our country. 

Veterans Day pays tribute to all those who served honorably in the military - in wartime or peacetime. The holiday “is largely intended to thank living veterans for their service and that all those who served - not only those who died - for having sacrificed and done their duty.” (Memorial Day is meant to honor those who died while serving.)

Here is the origin of Veterans Day from the Department of Veterans Affairs and, interestingly, why we celebrate it on November 11:

"During World War I, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, an armistice went into effect and all fighting between the allied nations and Germany ceased. This moment is generally regarded as the end of World War I, though it officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed June 28, 1919. Later in 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first commemoration of Armistice Day on November 11, a day on which the nation celebrated the end of “The Great War” with parades and public gatherings. On May 13, 1938, Congress passed legislation and Armistice Day became a legal federal holiday.

As time went on and our nation became involved in World War II and the Korean War in the 1940s and 1950s, millions more veterans were honored on Armistice Day in addition to veterans from World War I. So, on June 1, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation changing the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day to officially recognize veterans who served our country in all wars.

In 1968, the Uniform Holiday Bill was signed, and four national holidays—Washington’s birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day—were to be observed on Mondays. When the new law took effect, Veterans Day was celebrated on the fourth Monday in October. Most states followed suit with the new observance, but because states retained the right to designate their own holidays, Mississippi and South Dakota continued to celebrate Veterans Day on November 11. As the years went by, other states moved Veterans Day back to November 11 and finally, legislation was passed in 1975 that returned the federal observance of Veterans Day to its original date." 

Jewish Americans have served in all branches of the United States armed forces since the militias of the Thirteen Colonies and in every major armed conflict in which our country has been involved. The Jewish Chaplains Council estimates that there are currently 10,000 known Jewish servicemen and servicewomen on active duty, making up around 0.3% of the total number of those serving in the armed forces. More than 20 Jewish servicemen have been awarded the military’s highest award, the Medal of Honor. 

THANK YOU to all the service women and men in our country for protecting our freedom and liberty.

Finally, the Oregon Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, located at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center, is now accepting applications for a male and a female high school student for the Harry Glickman Scholar Athlete of the Year Award.  Any Jewish scholar athlete who lives in Oregon and is a junior or senior in high school is eligible.  Applicants will be judged on academic and athletic achievements as well as his or her commitment to community service.  Winners will receive the award at the MJCC’s Friends of the Center Brunch on March 4, 2018 and receive $500.

Shabbat shalom and thank you again to those serving our country.



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