Editor’s note: Margery Gross is a member of JWV Post 39 in Atlantic County, NJ.
In 1896, a group of Jewish Civil War veterans got together to form the Hebrew Union Veterans (HUV) group. This group was the direct result of slanderous accusations that Jews had not participated in the military during the War Between the States. What is difficult to believe is that this accusation has resurfaced in both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam and even to the current conflict. The HUV group eventually became the Jewish War Veterans (JWV).
We are proud of our history of support for the freedom we so enjoy in America, and are proud of the thousands of Jewish men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for that freedom. In WWII alone, over 52,000 awards, including the Congressional Medal of Honor, were bestowed on Jewish service members. The JWV has continues to combat anti-Semitism and bigotry where ever it appears. We offer our youth support through scouting, scholarships, and anti-drug programs.
The JWV offers a wide range of benefits and support to returning service men and women, be it a friendly face, a welcoming hand, or an eager ear to listen. To join is easy, the only real requirement is to be a Jewish military member, active or veteran (not necessarily a war veteran). The dues are low, and vary from Post to Post. Most posts offer free membership to active duty personnel. You are not alone when you join, but are with comrades in arms.
Further information can be found on the web at www.jwv.org. We are the first group to have an official Veterans Organization and are proud of all we can offer.