Monday, October 6, 2008

I Need Your Help Finding a High-Ranking U.S. Army Official Who Can Say Yes

Last week I mentioned to a Los Angeles rabbi that there was a shortage of Jewish chaplains in the military today. He replied that the Conservative Movement had required rabbinical graduates to serve as chaplains from the years 1945 to 1970. But then the Vietnam War caused the Conservative Movement to change its policy.

I suggested to this rabbi that rabbis today could volunteer to conduct services for major Jewish holidays on bases that didn’t have Jewish chaplains now. Alternatively, rabbis today could volunteer to conducts services at bases where there are Jewish chaplains and then those chaplains would be available to conduct services in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The rabbi to whom I spoke thought this was a good idea. But he said that it was his understanding that the military wouldn’t allow people not in uniform on bases. So we made an agreement:

If I could find a high-ranking U.S. Army official who would agree that civilian rabbis could conduct services on U.S. bases, this LA rabbi would work on getting rabbis to volunteer for these short stints.

Here’s how you can help:

I’d like to play the six degrees of separation game. This means that I’d like help being directed/introduced to people who might be connected to people who might be able to say yes to this proposal.

As the most solemn day of the Jewish year is in two days, I’d like to feel that I’m really trying to make this project happen. Any help you could give me would be much appreciated.

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1 comment:

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