Jewish Service in World Wars

Jewish Service in World Wars I and II

During World War I, local Jews served in all branches of the military. Forty five died for their country. During World War II countless more served, and twenty four Jews died. During the wars, local civilians participated in the War Chest, Liberty Loan drives, the USO, and Red Cross. During World War I, Jewish organizations entered floats in both the War Chest and Liberty loan parades, and on both occasions took first prize

Liberty Bond Float, 1915
Liberty Bond Float, 1915

Rabbi Bernard H. Ziskind of Tifereth Israel was called into the service as Army Chaplin in 1943, and an interim Rabbi, Rabbi Frank Plotke served in New Bedford from 1943 to 1946.

World War I soldiers Louis Kowalsky, Nathan Herman and Eli Meltzer
World War I soldiers Louis Kowalsky, Nathan Herman and Eli Meltzer

The Jewish War Veterans established a post (#154) in New Bedford in May of 1938. The Ladies’ Auxiliary was established at the same time. According to their bylaws, the purpose of the post is to sponsor entertainment for servicemen and veterans, to wage a battle against anti- Semitism and bigotry, to provide assistance to veterans and their families, to provide assistance to underprivileged children through the Child Welfare Program, to send aid to Israel in the form of medical equipment and supplies, and to provide scholarships.

Hyman Krivoff, World War I
Hyman Krivoff, World War I

Robert Zeman, 1940s
Robert Zeman, 1940s

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