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November’s Object of the Month 0 Comment(s)

JHSGW 50th anniversary logoTo honor our 50th anniversary, we invite you to peek into our archives each month. This month, we commemorate Veterans' Day.

From the Archives...
Four Immortal Chaplains postage stamps

Archives Record
Object #: 1995.06.2
Donor: Teresa Goode Kaplan
Description: Sheet of postage stamps depicting the sinking S.S. Dorchester and portraits of the Four Immortal Chaplains, 1948.

Background: In 1948, Chaplain Alexander Goode (pictured far right on the stamp) and three Christian chaplains were memorialized on this three-cent stamp for their heroism during World War II.

Alexander Goode grew up in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Eastern High School, and served Washington Hebrew Congregation during the summers while studying for his ordination at Hebrew Union College.

At age 32, Rabbi Goode enlisted as a military chaplain. He was assigned to the Dorchester, an overcrowded ship carrying more than 900 soldiers and civilian workers to the European front. In February 1943, just miles off the Greenland coast, a German U-boat torpedoed the ship. In the ensuing pandemonium, Chaplain Goode and three Christian chaplains calmly directed their fellow soldiers to lifeboats. Chaplain Goode and the other chaplains gave away their life jackets and joined arms at the ship’s railing—praying and singing hymns to men on lifeboats and in the water. The ship sank 27 minutes later, taking the chaplains with it.

The Distinguished Service Cross and Purple Heart were awarded posthumously to the chaplains’ next of kin, and a one-time only posthumous Special Medal for Heroism was authorized by Congress and awarded by the President Eisenhower on January 18, 1961.

Chaplain Goode is one of thirteen Jewish chaplains who has perished while in service. At Arlington National Cemetery, there are memorials for Protestant chaplains, Catholic chaplains, and World War I chaplains. Earlier this year, the Association of Jewish Chaplains began a campaign to honor Jewish chaplains with a new memorial. The memorial is slated to be unveiled in Spring 2011.

To complement the new memorial, the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is partnering with the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington to create a brochure of Jewish sites in the Arlington National Cemetery. Points of interest will include the new chaplains’ memorial, the graves of statesman and military leaders, and the space shuttle memorials.

Do you have wartime material that you’d like to donate to the archival collection? Call (202) 789-0900 or email info@jhsgw.org.

If you'd like to help make the publication of the new Jewish Sites in Arlington National Cemetery brochure possible, Click here to donate now (put “Arlington brochure” in the Designation field) or send a check to JHSGW, P.O. Box 791104, Baltimore, MD 21279 (indicate Arlington brochure in the memo line).

Raising funds for Arlington cemetery monument to Jewish chaplains 0 Comment(s)

From article in this week's Washington Jewish Week:

With plans set for a monument honoring Jewish chaplains to be dedicated at Arlington National Cemetery Columbus Day weekend, the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington has initiated a campaign to help raise funds for that memorial and to create a new glossy brochure of Jewish sites in the cemetery.

Read the rest of the article!

Contribute to the campaign (be sure to put "Arlington Campaign" in the Designation box)!

Special VIP Guests on Arlington National Cemetery Walking Tour 0 Comment(s)

Yesterday I had the amazing experience of accompanying Ambassador and Mrs. Michael Oren on our walking tour of Jewish "sites" in Arlington National Cemetery. Volunteer guides Les Bergen and Ernie Marcus provided a terrific insider's tour.

The most touching moments were watching the Israeli Ambassador place stones atop the headstones of one of Hadassah's first two nurses in Palestine in 1913-- Rae Landy and on the grave of Justice Arthur Goldberg. The Ambassador, a history professor himself, gave a wonderfully inspiring talk at the grave of Orde Wingate-- the British officer who was the father of the Israeli IDF teaching the nascent Jewish army how to fight. Orgate was killed along with other Brits and Americans when their plane was downed in the Burma theater during WWII.

It was a day filled with JHSGW programming -- uber-volunteer Marc Livingston led a walking tour of downtown DC, David McKenzie led an exhibit tour of Jewish Washington now on display at the Historical Society of Washington, and Maryann and Al Friedman hosted a salon for members to view their incredible collection of Hudson River School paintings.