Jews served in the national armies of most countries in which they settled. However, in many states they were denied the right to bear arms before the 20th century since they were considered to be second-class citizens, not fit to fight for their country. A major consideration motivating the Jewish desire to fight in the armed forces of the countries of their adoption was that they hoped that the acceptance of this obligation would entitle them to civic rights. For this very reason, states which denied Jews civil rights frequently restricted their service in their armies. In the 20th century, however, Jews participated fully in modern warfare as the Table: Jewish Participation in World War i and Table: Jewish Participation in World War ii show.
The figures in the table for the world wars were published by the United Nations and do not include Jewish partisans who fought against Nazi Germany. Jews served in all the services and a few became army commanders, for example the Italian general, Giorgio *Liuzzi. In the early years of Israeli statehood, the military achievements of the Israel Defense Forces during the *War of Independence (1948–49), the *Sinai Campaign of 1956, and the *Six-Day War (1967) focused attention on the quality of the Jewish soldier.
United States of America
Jews first did military service early in the colonial period in the form of militia duty. Asser *Levy insisted on his right to
|Australia and New Zealand||3,000|
|Palestinian Units in British army||35,000|
be allowed to stand guard duty against attack by Indians, and other early members of the community of New Amsterdam demanded the right of helping to defend the settlement and, when necessary, sprang to arms in a common effort to repel hostile assaults, earning full admission as citizens of the colony (1657). Later, in the 1750s, Jews served in the conquest of Canada in which Aaron *Hart led a battalion against the French in Canada, and Judah Hays commanded a 16-ton privateer, the Duke of Cumberland. During the American War of Independence (1775–83), a considerable number of Jews volunteered for the colonialist armies and several acquired considerable distinction, among them: Isaac Franks, David Salisbury *Franks, Lewis Bush, and Solomon Bush. In this war some U.S. companies included a considerable number of Jewish soldiers, such as that commanded by Major Benjamin Nones (d. 1826), a French Jew who served under the command of Lafayette and George Washington. During the second war between the United States and Great Britain from 1812 to 1814, there were a small number of Jews in the U.S. army most of whom were volunteers or members of militia companies. Aaron Levy (d. 1829) became a lieutenant colonel. Two naval officers achieved fame in this war. Captain John Ordraonaux (1778–1841) seized nine British prize vessels and later captured a British frigate and Uriah Phillips *Levy volunteered for the U.S. Navy in 1812 and rose to become commodore nearly half a century later. Levy's ship was captured by the British after sinking 21 merchant vessels and he spent the last 16 months of the war in a British prison. His subsequent career in the face of antisemitic opposition opened the way for future generations of U.S. Jewish sailors, among whom Claude C. *Bloch rose to become admiral of the U.S. fleet over a century later. In the following decades many Jews held senior posts in the U.S. forces; in the Nones family there were four naval officers who rose to the rank of captain. During the Mexican War (1846–48) the Jews of Baltimore formed a volunteer corps and Jonas Phillips Levy, brother of Uriah Phillips Levy, was promoted to naval captain. In the American Civil War (1861–65) Jews flocked to the colors of both Union and Confederacy armies. About 6,000 Jews fought on the Union side and a smaller number in the Confederate forces, though the exact figures are in dispute. The Confederate forces contained many prominent Jews, including Judah Phillip *Benjamin, the secretary of war, David de Leon (1813–1872), the first surgeon general, and 23 staff officers. The naval captain, Levi Myers Harby, distinguished himself in the defense of Galveston and commanded a fleet of gunboats on the Sabine River. On the Union side seven Jews were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor: Leopold Karpeles, Benjamin Levy, Abraham Cohn, David Obranski, Henry Heller, Abraham Grunwalt, and Isaac Gans. Several Jews rose to the rank of general during the war including: Frederick Knefler (1833–1901), a Hungarian by birth, who volunteered for the Union army on the outbreak of war as a private and was the first Jewish brevet major general; Edward S. Salomon (1836–1913), who was made governor of Washington Territory in recognition of his military feats at the battles of Fredericktown, Munfordville, and Gettysburg; and Leopold C. Newman (1815–1863), who was killed in action. Max Einstein and Phillip J. Joachimson (1817–1890), who organized the 59th New York volunteer regiment, were made brigadier generals in the Union army. Jews played no conspicuous part in the Spanish-American War of 1898. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that hostilities broke out following the sinking of the u.s.s.Maine, commanded until shortly before then by the Jewish officer Adolph Marix, and over 100 of nearly 5,000 Jews who fought in the U.S. army were killed. A few Jews were active in various Latin American armies including Jacob Baiz who was a brigadier general in the army of Honduras and Sam Dreben known as the "fighting Jew" who fought in Nicaragua in 1910, and was subsequently a colonel in the armies of Honduras and Mexico. In World War i a quarter of a million Jews fought in the armies of the United States, representing 5% of the total Jewish population of the United States, whereas only 3% of the total U.S. population served in World War i. Over 15,000 Jews were killed or wounded in the 18-month campaign. Nearly half of the 77th Division, the National Army unit from New York, consisted of Jews and there were approximately 10,000 Jewish officers, including three generals, Milton J. Foreman (1863–1935), Charles Laucheimer (1859–1920) and Abel Davis (1878–1937). Three Jews also rose to high rank in the navy during World War i: Rear Admiral Joseph Strauss (1861–1948) who commanded the battleship Nevada and was later responsible for placing a barrage of mines across the English Channel, Commander Walter F. Jacobs, who commanded a flotilla of minesweepers, and Captain Joseph K. *Taussig who was responsible for the safe escort of convoys against submarine attacks. Six Jews won the Congressional Medal of Honor: William Sawelson, Benjamin Kaufman (1894–1981), Sydney G. Gumpertz (1879–1953), Charles W. Hoffman, Samuel Sampler, and Philip C. Katz. In addition over 200 Jews were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. The Jewish contribution to the U.S. fighting force in World War ii was no less impressive. Over half a million U.S. Jews fought in the Allied armies, many of whom crossed the Canadian border early in the war to volunteer for the Canadian army before the United States entered the fighting. More than 50,000 Jewish servicemen were killed or wounded and two Jewish soldiers were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, one of whom was Lieutenant Raymond Lussman who single-handedly killed 17 German soldiers and captured another 32. An outstanding army officer who fell in battle was Major General Maurice Rose (1899–1945) who commanded the U.S. third armored division in the final offensive against Germany in 1945 and who was killed at Paderborn only a few weeks before the end of the war. In addition Lewis *Strauss was promoted to rear admiral during World War ii. In 1953 Hyman *Rickover, a naval captain in World War ii, was promoted to rear admiral and retired in 1958 with the rank of vice admiral. Jews also played an important part in the United States armies in Korea and in Vietnam; 150,000 Jews saw service in the Korean War and nearly 30,000 Jews fought in Vietnam, where Ben Sternberg (1914– ) served as major general.
Until the repeal of the 1673 Test Act in 1828, professing Jews were debarred by religious tests from serving as officers in the regular armed forces of the crown. English Jews were, however, like their counterparts, the Continental Court Jews, prominent as army contractors for pay and supplies in the 18th century: the most famous were Sir Solomon de *Medina, the associate of Marlborough, and Abraham Prado (the diary and letter-book of the latter's subordinate, David Mendes da Costa, have survived). Aaron *Hart was commissary officer at the taking of Montreal and settled in Canada. Professing Jews could serve in the ranks and a number served especially in the navy, among them Barnett Abraham Simmons (later minister in the Penzance synagogue) and Isaac Vallentine, founder of the Jewish Chronicle. When invasion threatened, volunteers were enlisted and many professing Jews served, particularly in the London Volunteers. Jews could hold nonregular commissions and Sir Moses *Montefiore served as an officer in the Kent Militia; Daniel *Mendoza, the boxer, was a sergeant in the Fifeshire, then Aberdeenshire, Fencibles. There were a number of officers of Jewish origin before 1828 – Wellington said 15 served under him at Waterloo in 1815 – but they were presumably converts or at least not professing Jews: the most famous were the descendants of Meyer Low Schomberg, physician to the Great Synagogue; among his sons were Captain Sir Alexander Schomberg rn (Royal Navy), founder of a naval and military dynasty still flourishing, and Lieutenant Colonel Henry Schomberg, probably the first Anglo-Jewish army officer.
After the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, some professing Jews entered the army and became regular officers, particularly in the Indian army (e.g., Captain Lionel Gomez da Costa, who died of wounds at Lucknow in 1857, and Ensign Edmund Helbert Ellis, who died in 1851 at the age of 22), in which Indian native Jews had previously served. The most distinguished soldier in the community was Col. Albert E.W. *Goldsmid. An increasing number of professing Jews served in the ranks, including veterans of the Crimean War. Judaism was not, however, recognized in the British army as a separate denomination until 1886, partly owing to the efforts of Trooper Woolf Cohen of the 5th Lancers. In the South African War (1899–1902), between 3,000 and 4,000 Jews served, with 127 killed in action; many of those serving were South African "colonials" and "outlanders," notably Colonel Sir David *Harris who commanded the Kimberley Town Guard during the siege. During World War i the number of Jews in the British army rose to 50,000. Several Anglo-Jewish families provided large numbers of Jewish soldiers. The *Rothschild family contributed five officers, the *Sassoon family 14 officers, and five sons of Arthur *Sebag-Montefiore held commissions, while 41 descendants of Sir Isidore *Spielmann were said to have served as officers. Five Jewish soldiers won the Victoria Cross: Captain Robert Gee, Lieutenant Frank Alexander De Pass, Sergeant Issy Smith (Shmulevitsch), and Privates J. White and Leonard Keysor; 50 Jewish soldiers received the Distinguished Service Order. In addition the Jews formed their own unit, the Zion Mule Corps, which fought at Gallipoli and in the Dardanelles in 1915. Later, three Jewish units, the 38th, 39th, and 40th battalions of the Royal Fusiliers participated in the conquest of Palestine in 1918 under General Allenby (see *Jewish Legion). The regiments were disbanded after World War i. In World War ii over 60,000 Jews fought in the British army. Jewish soldiers included volunteers from Central and Eastern Europe who were not British subjects and Palestinian volunteers who enlisted after the German advance across North Africa threatened the yishuv in Palestine. Two Jewish soldiers won the Victoria Cross in World War ii: Captain David Hirsch, and naval lieutenant T. Gould. Several others rose to high military rank including Major General William Beddington (1893–?), Brigadier Sir Edward Beddington (1884–1966), who was deputy director of military intelligence at the War Office, Brigadier Barnard Goldstone (1896–?), Brigadier Fredrick Morris (1888–1941), Brigadier Bernard Schlesinger (1896–1945), and Brigadier Frederick *Kisch, who was killed in action. In addition, Irish-born Abraham Briscoe (1892–?) was the first Jew to reach the rank of air-commodore in the Royal Air Force. Jewish soldiers also fought in the British army in Korea and in Egypt where Brigadier Edmund Meyers (1906–?) was chief engineer to the British forces at the Suez Canal. Major General James A. *D'Avigdor-Goldsmid became colonel of the 4/7th Dragoon Guards and director-general of the Territorial army.
No discrimination existed against Jews serving in the armed forces of Canada, Australia, and South Africa and a number of Jewish officers rose to high rank. In World War i Lieutenant General Sir John *Monash commanded the Australian army corps in France from June 1918 and was responsible for the breach of the German lines on August 8 which led to the collapse of German resistance. He was considered the outstanding army commander of World War i and in 1930 was promoted to full general. Major General Sir Charles Rosenthal also achieved prominence in the Australian army during World War i, commanding the anzac artillery and later the second Australian army division under Monash's supreme command. Another Australian, Private Leonard Keysor, was awarded the Victoria Cross during the Gallipoli campaign of 1915. In World War ii 16,000 Jews fought in the Canadian army in Europe and North Africa, and one of them, Colonel Phinias Rothschild (1914– ), was later promoted to major general and quartermaster-general of the Canadian army. 10,000 Jews fought in the South African army in which Major General Alexander Ohrenstein was director-general of the medical services.
[Vivian David Lipman]
Before 1827 Jews were exempted from military service on payment of a money tax. In that year, however, on the accession of Nicholas i, Jews were conscripted into the Russian army for periods of up to 25 years. Ten Jews for every thousand males were conscripted, recruitment being of boys aged between 12 and 25 while those under 18 were placed in special schools (see *Cantonists). Jewish soldiers were subjected to persistent pressure to convert, young Jewish children were seized and pressed into military service for 25-year periods, and Jews were excluded from the ranks of officers. Not unnaturally Jews sought every opportunity to evade military service in Russia under these conditions. These conscription laws did not apply to Jews in Polish territories annexed by Russia at the end of the Napoleonic wars. Thousands of Jews fought in the czarist army in the Crimean War (1854–56) and about 500 were killed. In 1864 a monument was erected to the Jewish soldiers who fell in the siege of Sebastopol and one Jewish soldier, Chaim Zaitchikoff, was congratulated by Prince Gortchakoff for his valor. Following the accession of Alexander ii the condition of the Jews improved slightly and they were given the right to be promoted to sergeant while demobilized Jewish soldiers were allowed to live outside the *Pale of Settlement. The seizure of Jewish children for military service was abolished and the maximum period of service was reduced to 15 years. In 1874 a law was enacted introducing universal military service obliging all Russian citizens to report for military service at the age of 21. The effect of the new law was to grant Jews equality with the rest of the population but half a century of enforced service in the Russian army had already conditioned them to avoid enlistment wherever possible. Nevertheless, many thousands of Jews fought in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877. They were not allowed to become officers though as an exception to the rule Captain Zvi Hertz *Zam was permitted to enter the officers' school in 1874 after eight years of service; however, he was promoted to captain only after more than 40 years of service in the Russian army. Another exception was Joseph *Trumpeldor, who refused to be discharged from service after he lost his right arm in action. The acute shortage of doctors in the Czarist army also led to Jews being admitted as surgeon officers. On the outbreak of World War i nearly 400,000 Jews were drafted into the Russian army and the number increased to nearly half a million by 1917. Several thousands won awards for bravery on the battlefield.
The Austro-Hungarian Empire generally adopted an enlightened policy toward its Jews. In 1782 Joseph ii granted civic rights to the Jews and six years later Jews were declared fit for military service, though the right was at first restricted to serving in the supply corps in the province of Galicia where most Jews lived. Later Jews were allowed to serve in all branches of the Hapsburg army. During the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars (1792–1813) many Jews served in the Austro-Hungarian army. Some were allowed to become officers. In 1818 Jews were officially accepted as officers even in the conservative cavalry regiments. Nevertheless, several professing Jews rose to the rank of general in the Hapsburg army, among them Field Marshal-Lieutenant Joseph *Singer who was chief of staff of the Third Army, and Major General Alexander von *Eis and Field Marshal-Lieutenant Eduard von *Schweitzer, both of whom commanded major Austrian army units. The comparatively generous treatment of Jews in the Austro-Hungarian army led many Jews to take up a military career, especially as certain other professions were closed to them. In 1855 there were 157 Jewish officers in the Hapsburg army and by 1893 this number had risen to 2,179 or 8% of all the officers in the Hapsburg army. A number of Jews also became prominent in the navy, including Tobias von Oesterreicher, who was the first Austrian Jew to be promoted to rear admiral, and two battleship commanders (sea captains), Friedrich Pick (1839–1908) and Moritz von Funk (1831–1905). Nearly 300,000 Jews fought in the Austro-Hungarian army during World War i. Among 2,500 officers were three field marshal-lieutenants, Eduard von Schweitzer, Adolph Kornhaber (1856–1925), and Hazai *Samu, and five major generals, Simon *Vogel, Johann Mestitz, Leopold Austerlitz, Emil von *Sommer, and Márton Zöld. Nearly 30,000 Jewish soldiers were killed during the four years of war, including 600 Austrian Jewish officers. After the collapse of the Hapsburg Empire Jews played an increasingly smaller part in the armed forces of both Austria and Hungary, and following the advent of Fascist and pro-Nazi regimes in the 1930s they ceased to serve in the armed forces altogether. One outstanding figure of the post-World War i period was General Vilmos Böhm (1880–1947) who was commander in chief of the Hungarian army during the four-month Soviet dictatorship of Béla *Kun in 1919.
Following the Revolution of February 1917, Jews were granted equal rights and for the first time were allowed to become army officers. Many were transferred to officers' schools and on graduating received the rank of sub-officer (praporshchik). When the Bolsheviks seized power in November 1917, many Jewish soldiers fought in the Red Army organized by Leon *Trotsky, aided by Skliansky and Jacob Sverdlov. Four divisional commanders were Jews and a few units consisted solely of Jews such as the brigade commanded by Joseph Furman. After the civil war J.B. Goldberg became commander of a reserve army. Among Jews who obtained senior army commands were Grigori Stern, Jan Gamarnik, and Feldman. Most of them were executed during Stalin's purges, a notable exception being Stern, who was sent to the Far East (1935), where he routed the Japanese army which had invaded Soviet territory. He later commanded the Soviet Far Eastern Forces with the rank of full general and drove the Japanese from Mongolian territory. Stern's army was assisted by air force units under Yaacov *Shmushkevich, appointed commander in chief of the Soviet air force in 1940.
world war ii
Following the outbreak of World War ii, the Soviet Union annexed the Baltic state and territories in eastern Poland and Belorussia thus incorporating a large number of Jews within its borders. After the German invasion of Russia, Polish and Belorussian soldiers in the Soviet army were considered of suspect loyalty and were transferred to labor battalions. In December 1941, however, the order was revoked and Jews from the Baltic states were permitted to serve in all units of the Soviet army. Subsequently four Lithuanian Jews were made Heroes of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Jewish historian Jacob Kantor estimated that almost half a million Jews fought in the Soviet army in World War ii of whom at least 140 were awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union (the official Soviet
|No. of Jewish Generals||Corps|
|13||Engineering and Mechanical|
|5||Air Force Engineering|
figure is 107). Jews constituted a disproportionately large number of senior officers, largely because the percentage of Jews having a university education was higher than that of other nationalities. More than 100 Jews held the rank of general (see the partial Table: Jewish Generals in the Soviet Army).
Jewish generals were particularly prominent as field commanders, notably General Jacob *Kreiser. Other Jewish commanders at the battle of Stalingrad included Lt. Gen. I.S. Beskin and Major Gen. (later Lt. Gen.) Matvey Weinrub. Jewish generals also held key commands during the final assault on Berlin. Lieutenant General Hirsh Plaskov was artillery commander of the Second Guards Army, Lieutenant General Semion Krivoshein commanded one of the first corps to break into Berlin in the spring of 1945, and Lieutenant General Weinrub was artillery commander of the Eighth Guards Army. Special mention should also be made of the Jewish Cossack commander, Major General Lev Dovator, who was killed during the first Soviet offensive in December 1941, Lieutenant General David Dragunski, who was twice made a Hero of the Soviet Union, and Major Caesar Konikov, whose courageous defense of the fishing village of Stanichka for seven months led to the village being renamed Kunikovo after his death. In addition Colonel General Leonti Kotlyar was commander of the engineering corps and six Jews held the rank of major general in the medical services (where there were a large number of Jewish doctors and nurses): Vovsy, Levitt, David Entin, Reingold, Gurvich, and Slavin. A number of Jews were given the award Hero of the Soviet Union in the Soviet air force, among them Michael Plotkin, who flew in the first Soviet bombing raid on Berlin in August 1941, Henryk Hofman, and four women: Polina Gelman, Zina Hofman, Lila Litvak, and Rachel Zlotina, who belonged to a women's air regiment. Two Jewish Soviet submarine commanders became Heroes of the Soviet Union – Israel Fisanovich and Isaac Kabar – as did Abraham Sverdlov who commanded a flotilla of torpedo boats. Jews were also prominent among the partisans, constituting more than 20,000 men in separate units in the Polish-Russian border areas. The official Soviet history of the war mentions the names of several Jewish partisan heroes, among them N.S. Kagan, one of seven Moscow Komsomol members hanged by the Germans while on a mission behind enemy lines, L.E. Bernstein, commander of the Pozharski unit which joined the Slovak rising against the Germans, and Vladimir Epstein, who escaped from Auschwitz to form a partisan unit in Poland. (See also *Partisans.)
after world war ii
Although famous Jewish generals such as Dragunski and Kreiser retained their popularity after World War ii, Soviet policy toward the Jewish soldier changed for the worse, in accordance with general Soviet policy toward the Jews. It is believed that nearly all the Jewish generals of World War ii were retired by 1953 as were nearly 300 Jewish colonels and lieutenant colonels. By 1970 the number of Jewish senior officers on active service in the Soviet army had declined drastically.
Before the beginning of the 19th century Jews were forbidden to bear arms in any of the Italian states or to be a member of any military organization. The French Revolution, however, led to the demand for equal rights in Italy as elsewhere and the Jews were among the beneficiaries of progressive legislation. Following the conquest of north Italy by Napoleon, Italian Jews even established their own units and fought with the emperor all over Europe. However, during the reactionary period in north Italy following the final defeat of Napoleon in 1815, Jews were debarred from military service. After the decree of March 1848 granting Jews full equality in Piedmont, 235 Jews volunteered for the Piedmontese army in the war against Austria. Enrico *Guastalla was among the Italian soldiers who captured Rome in 1849, and among the Piedmontese troops fighting on the allied side in the Crimean War (1854–56) was Colonel Cesare Rovighi who later became aide-de-camp to King Victor Emanuel i. In the war against Austria, 1859–60, 260 Jews volunteered for the Piedmontese armies and several were awarded medals. There were 11 Jews among the 1,000 led by Garibaldi who captured southern Italy and Sicily from the Bourbons and Enrico Guastalla later became one of Garibaldi's chief lieutenants. In 1870, 236 Jews were among the victorious Italian army which conquered Rome. Jewish soldiers were subject to no restrictions in the army of united Italy and the percentage of Jewish officers was disproportionately large. Many Jews held the rank of general in the Italian army. They included Lieutenant General Achille Coen (1851–1925), Lieutenant General Emanuele *Pugliese, Lieutenant General Roberto *Segre, Lieutenant General Angelo *Arbib (Arbid), Lieutenant General Angelo Modena, and others. Other Jewish soldiers rose to high military rank, among them Lieutenant General Giuseppe *Ottolenghi who was minister of war from 1902 to 1904. In all, several thousand Jewish officers and men fought in the Italian army in World War i.
Other Jewish officers included four major generals: Carlo Archivolti (1873–1944), Armando *Bachi, Adolfo Olivetti (1878–1944), and Giacomo Almagia (1876–1947), and 12 brigadier generals. Five Jews became admirals in the Italian navy. Augusto Capon, Franco Nunes (1868–1943), and Guido Segre (1871–1942) were full admirals, and Vice Admiral Paolo Marani (1884–1950) and Rear Admiral Aldo Ascoli (1882–1956) commanded ships in the invasion of Abyssinia in 1935. In November 1938 a new law was promulgated prohibiting Jews from serving in the armed forces and all the Jewish generals and admirals were forced to retire. During World War ii no Jews foughtin the army of Benito Mussolini, and some joined the partisan underground movement. Nevertheless two Jews were specially recalled to service because of particular skills: these were Rear Admiral Pontremoli and Major General Umberto Pugliese (1880–1961). The latter was given the task of raising Italian naval vessels sunk by the British at Taranto. After World War iiGiorgio *Liuzzi who was one of the senior officers retired in 1938 was recalled to active service and was chief of staff of the Italian army from 1956 to 1958 with the rank of lieutenant general.
In the early Middle Ages, Jews were accorded the right to bear arms. Later on, however, with the deterioration in their social and political standing after the upheavals of the *Crusades, this right was gradually withdrawn until by the middle of the 13th century Jews, numbered with women, children, and clerics, as being forbidden to bear arms. Exceptions to this rule were rare during the following centuries (see Jud *Michel), though Jews were very prominent as military *contractors (purveyors of livestock, fodder, food, uniforms, etc.) in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The first German Jews conscripted in modern times were from the left bank of the Rhine occupied by revolutionary and Napoleonic France. German states under French influence followed suit (*Westphalia). In 1812 Prussia decreed that Jews were liable to military service and when the War of Liberation broke out a year later many hundreds volunteered, 82 of them receiving decorations. Nevertheless, Frederick William ii repudiated his promise that war veterans could receive positions, irrespective of religion, and even wounded veterans suffered discrimination. The sole Jewish officer in the army during his reign was Major Meno Burg (1787–1853), who owed his position to the influence of the king's brother, the commander of the artillery. It was commonly accepted that Jews were inferior soldiers and that their service was mainly of educational and assimilatory value.
In 1845 the first Jewish officers were commissioned into the Prussian reserve forces, the Landwehr. Until about 1885, Jewish officers, primarily university graduates, were commissioned by co-option; but after this date virtually none became officers, despite their exemplary service in the Austro-Prussian (1866) and Franco-Prussian (1870–71) wars, because of growing antisemitism. An exception was Walther von *Mossner, the sole senior Jewish officer in the Prussian army, and he owed his position to personal connections with the king and converted to Christianity during his career. Most German states followed Prussia's discriminatory policy (particularly Hanover) while others were more liberal, Bavaria permitting Jewish officers to rise to the upper ranks in the standing army. During the 1848 Revolution Jews enlisted in the National Guard, where they were reluctantly accepted. That year the first Jewish doctor was commissioned in Prussia, and subsequently, due to the lack of physicians, the medical corps harbored Jewish officers in large numbers without permitting them to become senior officers.
Many thousands of Jews fought in the German army in World War i. About 2,000 Jewish officers were commissioned and 12,000 Jews were killed in battle. Nevertheless, during and after the war there was an ugly upsurge of accusations that Jews had either not enlisted or shirked front-line service. To combat this propaganda the Reichsbund juedischer Frontsoldaten, an association of Jewish war veterans, was founded. In 1917 the War Ministry ordered a thorough survey conducted to find the number and proportion of Jews serving in front-line units. The results and the dubious manner in which they had been obtained became the subject of a bitter public controversy. In fact, the percentage of Jews was almost equal to that of Christians; that it was not higher is explained by the diminishing birthrate among German Jewry (between 1880 and 1930) which resulted in a lower proportion of those of military age relative to the non-Jewish population. After World War i the small professional army of the Weimar Republic contained few Jews, who were all removed in 1933.
During the Middle Ages Jews were generally excluded from military service except in times of emergency. Their position remained unchanged until 1789 when, following the outbreak of the French Revolution, all Frenchmen, including Jews, were made liable for military service. Many Jews served in Napoleon's armies, among them Brigadier General Marc-Jean-Jerome Wolffe (1776–1848) who commanded the first cavalry brigade of the Grande Armée and Captain Alexandre Marcquefoy who was awarded the Legion of Honor by Napoleon himself; 800 Jews were estimated to be serving under Napoleon in 1808, among them a number of Italians and Poles. Berek (Berko) *Joselewicz, the Polish patriot, commanded a regiment in Napoleon's Polish Legion. The outstanding Jewish soldier in Napoleon's army was Henri *Rottenbourg who was made major general in 1814. Nevertheless, conditions of the Jewish soldiers were made difficult by the refusal of many commanding officers to allow Jews into their ranks and the restrictions on the rights of promotion.
During the early part of the 19th century an increasing number of Jews fought in the French army and a few achieved considerable prominence, among them Colonel Martin Cerfbeer, Captain Abraham Lévy, Captain M. Vormess, and Captain Benoît Lévy who were all awarded the Legion of Honor. No exact details are available as to the number of Jews who fought in the Crimean War (1854–56) but several won awards for gallantry, among them Leopold *See and Colonel Abraham Lévy. In the Italian war of 1859 See and Lévy were again decorated as was Major Adolph Abraham, and in the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71), Colonel Jules Moch and Captain Halphen broke through the Prussian lines after the French army had been surrounded at Metz. In that war Major Franchetti was posthumously decorated having fallen during the siege of Paris. During the Third Republic (1870–1940), Jews entered the French army in unprecedented numbers and 23 rose to the rank of general. Although subject to no official restrictions, Jews were frequently the target of antisemitic attacks, the most notable occasion being the *Dreyfus case. The outstanding Jewish officers of the period before World War i were: Major Generals Leopold See, Aimé *Lambert, Abraham Lévy, and Naquet-Laroque (1843–1921), and Brigadier Generals Edgar Wolffe (c. 1840–1901), Gabriel Gustave Brisac (1817–c. 1890), Adolphe Hinstin (c. 1820–c. 1890), Bernard Abraham (1824–c. 1900), and Adolphe Aron (c. 1840–c. 1910). On the outbreak of World War i, several hundred Jews volunteered for the French army, among them captains Charles Lehmann and René Frank, both of whom had fought in the Franco-Prussian War 44 years earlier. About 50,000 French Jews, over 20% of the total Jewish population, fought in the French army between 1914 and 1918, and an additional 4,000 Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe volunteered. Twelve French Jews held the rank of general, among them Lieutenant General Valabrègue, Major Generals Naquet-Laroque and Justin Dennery (1847–1928), who were recalled from retirement, Major Generals Camille Baruch Levi (1860–1933) and Jules Heymann (1850–1928) and Brigadier Generals René Alexandre (1864–1931), Lucien Lévi (1859–1932), Paul Emile Grumbach (1861–1931), Gédéon Geismar (1863–1931), and André Weiller (1865–c. 1940). Of 39 French Jewish airmen who fought in World War i, all but four were killed in battle and the total number of French Jews killed in action exceeded 8,000. Several Jews rose to the rank of general after World War i, among them Major General Pierre Boris, Major General Raymond Laroque and Brigadier General Albert Baumann (1869–1945).
Before the French collapse in June 1940 General Boris was made general inspector of the French artillery. Major General Charles Huntzinger and Major General Pierre Brisac were all permitted by the Vichy régime to retain their rank despite the racial laws against Jews. Similarly the Vichy régime gave Samuel Meyer the award of the Legion of Honor for bravery while André Gutman received the award of the Croix de Guerre for bravery in action. The French army included one regiment almost entirely made up of Polish Jews. Following the French defeat in June 1940 many French and East European Jews joined the Free French under Charles de Gaulle in London, among them Ingénieur-Général Louis *Kahn who was director of naval construction. Jews were also prominent in the French resistance, among them Roger Carcassonne who led the resistance movement in North Africa. In 1944, following the liberation of France, General Boris was one of several Jewish officers reinstated in the French army, and in 1945 General *Dassault commanded the French artillery. After World War ii a small number of Jews served in the French army in Indo-China.
Jewish settlement had begun in Poland by the 12th century and Jews were conscripted principally to reinforce the local militia and help build fortifications. They were not expected to take any important part in the Polish army until the Tatar attacks on eastern Poland at the end of the 16th century. Jews were recruited into defense units and some were taken prisoner, a fact recorded in the orders of the Russian czar Michael (1613–1645). A Jewish unit was formed under the command of one Mozko and in some cities the general mobilization of Jews was ordered. Jews were also prominent in the wars against Sweden (1655–60). During the 18th century, Catholic pressure was brought to bear against Jews fighting in the Polish army and the number of Jews serving fell from over 2,000 to a few hundred. During the uprising in the year following the second partition of Poland of 1793, numbers of Jews joined the revolutionary army along with other Poles and many Jews fought in the Polish force which drove the Russians out of Warsaw. Later in 1794, a Jewish cavalry legion was formed under the command of Berek Joselewicz, initially numbering 500 men and later nearly 2,000. The Jewish legion distinguished itself in the defense of Warsaw but was completely wiped out in the Russian massacre in the suburb of Praga after the collapse of the rebellion. At the turn of the 19th century a number of Jews joined Napoleon's army and fought for France in Italy and Eastern Europe. Joselewicz himself commanded a regiment of Polish cavalry, and another Polish Jew, Caspar Junghof, was awarded the Legion of Honor. Similarly Jews volunteered for the army of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw established by Napoleon in 1807. Among them was Josef *Berkowicz, the son of Joselewicz, who fought with other Poles in the French army which invaded Russia in 1812.
After the defeat of Napoleon in 1814, Jews in the area of Poland under czarist rule played an active part in the Polish uprisings of 1830, 1848, and 1863. During World War i, Polish Jews fought in units of both the armies of the Allies and the central powers. A number of Polish Jews in the Russian Austro-Hungarian and French armies were decorated. After the war thousands of Jews fought in the Polish army against Russia, among them Colonel Goldman, Colonel Karaffa-Kreutenkraft, and Colonel Floyar-Reichman. Nevertheless, Polish antisemitism permeated the army and all the other organs of state, and although there were never less than 20,000 Jews in the Polish army between the wars, very few Jewish soldiers held high military rank. An outstanding exception was Bernhard *Mond who was promoted to colonel in 1924 and on the outbreak of World War ii commanded the Fifth Infantry Division with the rank of major general. The condition of the Jewish soldier improved during the nine-year rule of Joseph Pilsudski (1926–35) but deteriorated after his death. Nevertheless, 400,000 Jews were recruited into the Polish army on the outbreak of World War ii and many thousands were killed in battle during the four weeks of fighting. A large number of Jewish soldiers were taken prisoner by the Russians and interned in the Soviet Union. In 1942 an agreement between the U.S.S.R. and the Polish government in exile resulted in the formation of a Polish army in Russia under General Anders. Although Jews were generally excluded from this army, usually on the pretext that they were unsuitable for military service, 4,000 fought in General Anders' army in Western Europe while over 5,000 Jews fought in a second Polish army in Russia, a large number of them holding officer's rank. In addition many more Jews fought in Polish units serving in the armies of other Allied states.
Despite the fact that the Jewish population of Poland was decimated by the Holocaust, a large number of Jews joined the Polish army and after World War ii many held senior ranks. Following the Six-Day *War in 1967, however, nearly all of them were removed from their posts.
Romania became an independent kingdom in 1881. Restrictions were subsequently placed upon the right of Jews to serve in the armed forces despite the fact that nearly 1,000 Romanian Jews had fought against the Turks in the Balkan War of 1877. An outstanding Jewish soldier in the Romanian army was Colonel Maurice Brociner (1855–1942) who was decorated for gallantry in 1877 and in 1882 was made secretary to Charles i, king of Romania. In 1896 a law was enacted prohibiting Jews from volunteering for the Romanian army but in 1913, following the involvement of Romania in the Balkan Wars, the law was rescinded. During World War i, 20,000 Jews fought in the Romanian army, including several hundred officers. Thirty-seven Jewish officers and 845 men were known to have died. After World War i a large number of Jews served in the Romanian army, and some rose to the rank of officer. During World War ii, however, Nazi pressure led the Romanian government to remove all the Jews from the Romanian army. Few Jews served in the army of Communist Romania after 1945.
Following Bulgarian independence in 1878 Jews were given equal rights with the rest of the population. Bulgarian Jews fought in the Turkish army when Bulgaria was under Turkish rule, and after independence they joined the Bulgarian army in the thousands. Many Jewish soldiers distinguished themselves during the Serbo-Bulgarian war of 1885 and were described by Prince Alexander of Bulgaria as "true descendants of the ancient Maccabeans." Despite growing antisemitism, no restrictions were placed on Jews entering the army or even the officers' training schools. Five thousand Jews fought in the Bulgarian army in the Balkan Wars (1912–13) and several hundreds of them were killed. In World War i a number of Jews reached senior army ranks, among them three Jewish colonels Graziani, Tajar, and Mushanov. Over 700 Jews were killed in the war, among them 28 officers. Between the wars, Jewish soldiers continued to enjoy equal rights in the Bulgarian army until 1940 when Bulgaria allied herself with Nazi Germany. All Jews were removed from the Bulgarian army and organized into labor units to perform manual work. Many of them were later sent to concentration camps but some succeeded in joining the partisans headed by the Fatherland Front. After the war most of Bulgaria's surviving Jews emigrated to Israel and hardly any joined the army of Communist Bulgaria.
Greek Jews were subject to continual persecution for many years after Greek independence in 1821. Very few Jews joined the army until the outbreak of the Greco-Turkish War of 1897 in which 200 Jews fought in the Greek army. Abraham Matalon rose to the rank of colonel during World War i and was one of several Jewish soldiers to have been decorated. The total number of Greek Jews fighting in World War i was estimated at 500. Many Jews fought in the Greek army against Italy in 1940 and by 1942, when the Germans invaded Greece, over 13,000 Jews had been recruited, many of them from Salonika and Macedonia where there were large concentrations of Jews. Five hundred and thirteen Jews were known to have been killed in action, among them Colonel Mordechai Parisi, who was killed after holding off an entire Italian brigade for nine days. A monument was erected in his memory in his native town of Chalcis and 25 Greek towns have streets named after him. Following the German conquest of Greece, many Jews were deported to concentration camps. Among the Greek Jews deported to Auschwitz was Colonel Baruch who set fire to part of the gas chambers and was later killed by the Nazis. A few Greek Jews joined the partisan movement in the mountains of northern Greece and some fought in the Allied armies in North Africa.
Before 1850 Jews were exempted from military service upon payment of a tax. In 1866 Jews were granted equal rights including the obligation of military service but even before the law of 1866 certain cantons permitted Jews to bear arms, the first of them being Aargau where the civil authorities acceded to a request of Marcus Dreyfus, head of the Jewish community. In 1855 Moritz Meyer from Aargau was made an officer and several other Jews became officers during the latter part of the 19th century. Several hundred Jews were recruited into the Swiss army for border defense during the two world wars and two Jewish soldiers rose to the rank of colonel: A. Nordman and his son, Jean Nordman.
Jews were allowed to bear arms in Holland from the 17th century when the country became an independent state under the House of Orange. In 1808, during Napoleonic rule, Jews were granted equal rights and were therefore obliged to do military service along with the rest of the population. The number of Jews serving in the Dutch army grew steadily during the 19th century and a few Jewish soldiers were singled out for merit, one of them, Michael Kohen (b. 1877), being decorated for outstanding bravery in the fighting in Surinam. Thousands of Jews fought against the Nazi invasion of Holland in May 1940 and a small number of them succeeded in escaping to Britain to continue fighting from there. After World War ii, hardly any Jews served in the Dutch armed forces.
A small number of Jewish soldiers rose to fame in India, the Middle East, and North Africa, some of them serving as soldiers of fortune. Some of the Jewish soldiers of fortune achieved fame in the Turkish army in which several thousand Jews fought during the Balkan wars of the 19th century. Fischel-Freind (1885–1928), a Polish Jew, became a colonel in the Turkish army and was later governor of Syria with the title Magyar Mahmud Pasha. An English Jew, Stephen Lakeman (1812–1897), was briefly a Turkish general with the title, Mazar Pasha. In addition David Effendi Molcho, a Jew from Salonika, was made head of the Turkish navy's medical services with the rank of vice admiral. Another Jewish soldier of fortune was Rubino *Ventura who held military commands both in Persia and in India during the 19th century. A small number of Indian Jews reached high military rank in the British army, among them Subadar Major Haskelji Israel Kolatkar who was killed during the Burmese campaign of 1887 and Subadar Major Shalom Moses Penkar of the 15th Bombay Infantry unit. Indian Jews fought in the two world wars and after Indian independence, some became senior officers, and one of them, Colonel Joseph Ephraim Jhirad, was killed in the 1965 war against Pakistan. North African Jews were prominent in World War ii both in the French and British regular armies and in the French underground. Thus Maurice Guedj (1913–1945), a Tunisian lawyer, joined the Free French air force and won numerous decorations. He was killed in action in January 1945. Leaders of the underground included José *Abulker, Pierre Smadja, and Raoul and Edgar Bensoussan. Jews were not prominent in the Algerian war against the French after 1955 or in the armies of the Arab North African states after independence.
There is no record of Jewish women serving in the army of any modern state until 1813 when Louise Grafemus (Esther Manuel; 1785–1852), in search of her husband in the Russian army, joined the Prussian infantry disguised as a man. She was twice wounded and rose to become a sergeant major before her sex was discovered. Louise Grafemus was awarded the Iron Cross and returned to her home in Hanau with great honor. During the 19th century women played an increasing part in the conduct of wars in auxiliary capacities such as nurses. Thus nurse Woolf was decorated by King George v for her services in the British army in World War i and several Jewish women became nursing officers in the Allied forces in World War ii. During World War ii women went into active service for the first time as auxiliary troops; in Russia they served with men in the front lines during the initial invasion by Germany and afterward. A number of Soviet Jewish women became famous through their bravery in action, among them Lyudmila Kravetz who was made a Hero of the Soviet Union when as a medical sergeant she took command of her unit when all the officers were killed and advanced against the enemy. Riva Steinberg (d. 1944), who was killed trying to rescue a Russian soldier from a burning aircraft, was posthumously decorated. Mary Ykhnovich, a senior battalion commander, Sarah Meisel, Klara Gross, and Lea Kantorovich, a nurse, were all cited for bravery under fire. Another Russian Jewess, Gitta Schenker, a telephone operator, took command of an infantry battalion during the battle of Stalingrad. However, the most famous Jewish heroine of World War ii was Hannah *Szenes who was parachuted into Yugoslavia to organize Jewish resistance and was captured and killed.
See also *Israel, State of: Defense Forces.
In most states Jews were not called upon to do military service until well into the 19th century since the obligation to take up arms was considered a privilege to which Jews were not entitled. Even where they did fight they were usually restricted in their right to hold officer's rank (as in Prussia and Russia) or were excluded from certain branches of the army such as the general staff in Austria-Hungary. In the 20th century most restrictions on Jews as soldiers were removed but only in France, Italy, and Austria-Hungary was the number of Jewish senior officers relatively high. Vilmos Böhm and Giorgio Liuzzi were the only Jews to become commanders in chief of an army, the former when he held this post in the short-lived regime of Bela Kun in Hungary, the latter in Italy. Three other Jews reached the rank of full general: John *Monash, Grigori Stern, and Jacob *Kreyzer; and three Jews the rank of full admiral: Ben Moreel (1892–?), Augusto *Capon, and Roberto Segre (1872–1942). One Jew, Yaacov *Shmushkevich, was commander of an air force.
In most countries of Europe where Jews have volunteered or been enlisted into the armed forces, provision has been made for the appointment of chaplains to look after the religious needs of servicemen and women in times of war and peace. One can generally say that from the middle of the 19th century, following the political emancipation of the Jews, Judaism became a recognized denomination having more or less the same privileges and obligations as those of other denominations. Commissioned chaplains were given relative military rank, senior chaplains having the relative rank of colonel, lieutenant colonel, or major. This was the case in Austria, France, Prussia, Britain, Belgium, Italy, Holland, and Poland. In Britain in 1889 Judaism was recognized as a denomination for the purpose of chaplaincy in the forces. The first Jewish chaplain was Rabbi Francis L. Cohen who was appointed in 1892. In European countries, such as Italy and Belgium, chaplains were first commissioned during World War i when the number of Jews serving in the various national armies increased considerably. In World War i Jewish chaplains, with the approval, and sometimes at the request of the superior commanding officer, rendered service to the Jews in occupied territories. Thus German Jewish chaplains acted as intermediaries between the German army authorities and Jewish civilians in Poland and in northern France. They also provided religious appurtenances and Passover requirements (such as maẓẓot and haggadot). British chaplains performed similar services for Jewish civilians in northern France and Belgium. They were supported by chaplains attached to the forces of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa, and chaplains also served with the Jewish units serving in Palestine and Egypt. A number of chaplains in both the Allied and central armies were decorated for bravery. An outstanding example of bravery was that of Rabbi A. Bloch of the French army who was killed by a shell in 1914 after seeking a crucifix for a severely wounded Frenchman when there was no priest available. During World War ii there was a further increase in the number of chaplains in the Allied forces. On the other hand the Dutch government in exile, for the first time, appointed a Jewish chaplain, Chief Rabbi S. Rodrigues Pereira, to look after the religious requirements of Dutch Jews serving with the Allies. In the Polish army Rabbi J. Mieses was senior chaplain to be succeeded by Rabbi B. Steinberg who was killed during the Katyn massacre in 1943. Jewish chaplains served with the Polish army in Russia, the Middle East, and Europe. The last senior chaplain in the Polish army was Rabbi David Kahana who served from 1945 to 1952. Jewish chaplains were also attached to the Jewish infantry group made up of Palestinians and Jews from other British army units who served in the western desert, in Italy, and with the army of the Rhine. As in World War i, a number of Jewish chaplains were decorated for gallantry in the Allied armies, among them Grand Rabbi Jacob Kaplan of the French army who was awarded the Croix de Guerre. The duties of chaplains during the two world wars were extensive and involved a considerable amount of travel. They were required to organize religious services whenever possible, particularly during the festivals and High Holy Days, to distribute service prayer books and religious literature, visit the sick and wounded in hospitals and casualty clearing stations, and bury the dead. They were also required to assist observant soldiers in following the religious requirements of their faith without detriment to their army duties and to deal with the many welfare and social problems affecting the domestic life of the soldier. At the end of World War ii chaplains were additionally required to help bury Jews who had died in concentration camps and to help those who survived as far as possible. As in the case of chaplains of other denominations, Jewish chaplains were requested to use their influence in maintaining the morale and fighting spirit of the troops. They were encouraged to participate in educational and recreational programs designed to improve the mind and outlook of the serviceman. In the Royal Air Force a scheme of moral leadership courses was devised to guide and train officers and men who had shown a talent for leadership to apply their potential in the groups to which they were attached.
[Sir Israel Brodie]
in the united states
The Jewish military chaplaincy in the United States began in 1862 during the U.S. Civil War. Before then army chaplains had to be ordained Christian clergymen, selected by the officers of the regiments to which they were assigned. By an Act of Congress of 1862, a regularly ordained minister of any religious denomination could be commissioned as a chaplain. Three rabbis were commissioned as chaplains in the Union forces: Rabbi Jacob Frankel of Philadelphia, who served the six Philadelphia military hospitals; Rabbi Bernhard Gotthelf, of Louisville, Kentucky, who served 18 army hospitals in Kentucky and Indiana; and Rabbi Ferdinand L. Sarner of Brith Kodesh Congregation, Rochester, New York, who was elected chaplain of the 54th New York Volunteer Regiment and was wounded at Gettysburg.
No Jewish chaplains served in the Spanish-American War (1898), although Rabbi Emil G. *Hirsch and Rabbi J. Leonard Levy of Philadelphia were commissioned. Rabbi Joseph *Krauskopf of Philadelphia spent the summer of 1898 at military camps in the United States and in Cuba as a field commissioner for the National Relief Commission, and conducted religious services for Jewish personnel. A number of other rabbis also conducted services at camps adjacent to the communities in which their congregations were located.
In 1917 the *National Jewish Welfare Board (jwb) was organized to serve the religious and morale needs of Jewish soldiers and sailors in the U.S. armed forces during World War i. One of the duties assigned to the jwb by the government was the recruiting and endorsing of Jewish military chaplains. In October 1917 Congress authorized the appointment of chaplains-at-large of "faiths not now represented in the body of Chaplains of the Army." As a result, 149 of the 400 English-speaking rabbis in the United States volunteered, and 34 received the ecclesiastical endorsement of the jwb's Chaplains Committee. Of these, 26 received commissions. The first Jewish chaplain commissioned was Rabbi Elkan C. Voorsanger of St. Louis, who earned two decorations for gallantry under fire, and became senior chaplain of the 77th Division.
After World War i, some chaplains maintained reserve commissions, and a number of younger rabbis enlisted in the reserves between 1918 and 1940. As World War ii approached, the chaplaincy underwent a major reorganization. Cyrus *Adler was succeeded by Rabbi David de Sola *Pool as chairman of the jwb Chaplaincy Committee, and the committee was renamed Committee on Army and Navy Religious Activities (canra) of the jwb. Rabbi Phillip S. *Bernstein was named executive director. By the time the United States entered World War ii, 24 Jewish chaplains were on active duty. By the end of the war 311 rabbis had been commissioned and served in the armed forces; seven died in service, among them Alexander Goode who was one of four chaplains who lost their lives on the military transport, s.s.Dorchester. canra provided the chaplains with vast supplies of religious literature, equipment, and kosher foods in a supply line that reached around the world. Two tasks of special importance performed by Jewish chaplains were their work as leaders in the first penetration of areas cut off from Jewish contacts during the Nazi occupation, and their aid to concentration camp survivors. After World War ii the chaplaincy became a career for some, and a way for the promotion of senior Jewish chaplains to key administrative chaplaincy posts. Many of those who did not choose a career in the chaplaincy retained their reserve commission. Only 18 Jewish chaplains remained on active duty at the outbreak of war in Korea in 1950. Twelve Jewish chaplains were decorated in that war.
After World War ii canra was renamed to emphasize its function within the jwb organization, which finances it, first as the Division of Religious Activities and, after the outbreak of the Korean War, as the Commission on Jewish Chaplaincy of the jwb Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox rabbis rotated as commission chairmen for three-year terms. The commission instituted a draft to supply 100 Jewish chaplains; it drew from all rabbis and newly-ordained students eligible for military service who had not already served in the forces, and required a two-year tour of duty. From 1950 to 1968 the draft brought 485 rabbis into the chaplaincy, about a third of all the rabbis ordained by the major Jewish seminaries of the United States during the period. The commission also used civilian rabbis who had their own congregations to provide chaplaincy services at military bases, academies, and hospitals and nonmilitary federal installations where no full-time Jewish chaplain was assigned. About 800 rabbis were involved in this program up to 1970. In 1969, reacting to anti-Vietnam sentiment among rabbinical students, the commission substituted a voluntary system for the drafting of newly-ordained rabbis. When the Vietnam War led to a new military buildup, four Jewish chaplains were assigned to duty in that country. From 1966 to 1970, 11 chaplains were decorated. In 1970 Jewish chaplains were serving 611 domestic installations and hospitals, as well as in more than 40 foreign countries. Jewish chaplains were active in the later military actions in Iraq. By 2005, in the renamed Jewish Chaplains Council, approximately 40 full-time military and Veterans Administration chaplains, 55 chaplain reservists, more than 88 military lay leaders, and thousands of Jews were serving at more than 500 military installations and va medical centers.
publications and child education
In the 1950s and 1960s, religious-lay cooperation and interdenominational harmony were strikingly evident in the work of the Jewish Chaplaincy Commission's responsa and publication committees. The former formulated mutually acceptable answers to questions of religious practices under military conditions. The latter published prayer books, Haggadot, hymnals, and a library of pamphlets on the Sabbath, holy days, festivals, Jewish ethics, and Jewish history, all widely distributed and serving as excellent expositions of Judaism to non-Jews in the military. In 1954 the commission published the first standardized religious school curriculum for the children of servicemen, rewritten in 1965 as "Unified Jewish Religious Education Curriculum." It is particularly important because of the growing number of service children who live far from civilian synagogues and Jewish schools. Religious education for service children has become a prime task of the Jewish chaplains, who prepare many youngsters for bar and bat mitzvah as part of an organized program of elementary Jewish training.
M. Kaplan, Ha-Loḥem ha-Yehudi bi-Ẓeva'ot ha-Olam (1967), incl. bibl.; J. Ben Hirsch, Jewish General Officers (1967), incl. bibl.; G. Loewenthal, Bewaehrung im Untergang (1966); J. Lazarus, Juifs au combat (1947); F. Servi, Israeliti italiani nella guerra 1915–18 (1921); J.G. Fredman and L.A. Falk, Jews in American Wars (1963); A.L. Lebeson, Pilgrim People (1950); S. Wolf, The American Jew as Patriot, Soldier, and Citizen (1895); P.S. Foner, Jews in American History 1654–1865 (1945), 16–27, 36–42, 63–78, incl. bibl.; P. Wiernik, History of the Jews in America (1931), 87–97, 229–41, 417–20; W. Ziff, in: D. Runes (ed.), Hebrew Impact on Western Civilization (1951), 240–312; Z. Szajkowski, in: paajr, 26 (1957), 139–60, incl. bibl.; Comite zur Abwehr Anti-semitischer Angriffe in Berlin, Juden als Soldaten (1896); M. Fruehling, Biographisches Handbuch (1911); Wiener Library, German Jewry (1958), 201–4; H. Fischer, Judentum, Staat und Heer in Preussen (1968); R. Ainsztein, in: L. Kochan (ed.), Jews in Soviet Russia (1970), 269–87. jewish chaplaincy outside the u.s.: I. Brodie, in: ajyb, 48 (1946/47), 58ff.; Ha-Gedudim ha Ivriyyim be-Milḥemet ha-Olam ha-Rishonah (1968); A. Tabian, Australian Jewish Historical Society Transactions, 6 (1965), 344; South African Jewry in World War ii (1950); Illustrierte Neue Welt (June 1970), 26; L'Aumẓnerie militaire belge (1966), 88; Redier et Honesque, L'Aumẓnerie militaire française (1960). in the u.s.: L. Barish (ed.), Rabbis in Uniform (1962); O.I. Janowsky et al., Change and Challenge: A History of Fifty Years of jwb (1966), 80–83; jwb Circle, 1 (1946– ), index. add. bibliography: A.I. Slomovitz, The Fighting Rabbis: Jewish Military Chaplains and American History (1998).