Armed Services – American Military

Rabbi Julie Schwartz: The U.S.’s First Female Military Chaplain – and the Associate Dean of HUC

Rabbi Julie Schwartz (middle), in uniform. Two men stand on either side of her. Four flags are behind them, including the U.S. flag.

The American Jewish Archives contains records of Jewish leaders serving as chaplains in the US military dating back to the Civil War; however, not until 1986 did the first commissioned active-duty female chaplain join such ranks. Cincinnati native Julie Schwartz was a student at HUC-JIR in Cincinnati in 1985 when she received ecclesiastical approval from…

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The Highest Ranking American Jew in WWII

Black and white photograph of Major General Maurice Rose.

Major General Maurice Rose is said to be the “greatest forgotten commander of World War II.” He joined the military in 1916 as a private and served along the Mexican border before fighting in the 89th division in France in 1917. He rose through the ranks and during World War II he fought in the…

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One Jew’s Financial Support for the Revolutionary War

Black and white portrait of Haym Salomon in formal attire with a landscape background.

Haym Salomon (1740-1785), a Polish immigrant and New York City financial broker, was one of the largest Patriot financiers of the Revolutionary War. During the war, he was arrested by the British as a spy and forced to work as a German translator. Salomon used his position to convince German mercenary soldiers to disband and…

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Jewish Roots of the Pulitzer Prize

Collage including black and white photograph of Joseph Pulitzer, two medals, and his autograph

Born in Makó, Hungary on April 10, 1847 to two Jewish parents, Joseph Pulitzer emigrated to the U.S. in 1864 to fight in the Civil War. After moving to St. Louis, Joseph became a naturalized citizen in 1867, passed the bar, served in the state legislature, and began reporting for the Westliche Post. He bought…

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Nathan Hilu: a soldier, an artist

Collage of artwork by Nathan Hilu including a profile photograph of the artist.

Born in 1925 on New York’s Lower East Side, Manhattan, Nathan Hilu (d. April 19, 2019) was a soldier, artist and storyteller who referred to himself as an “illustrator of life.” He served in the U.S. Army during WWII, the Korean War and the Cold War, first as a prison guard at Nuremberg, then throughout…

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Civil Rights Law: The Legacy of William Kunstler

Deemed simultaneously a “great American hero” and “the most hated lawyer in America,” William M. Kunstler did not pursue law planning to become an advocate for civil rights. Born in 1919 to a middle-class Jewish family in the Upper West Side of New York City, Kunstler attended Yale University (1941) before serving in the Army…

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ENDURING UNDERSTANDINGS: Archives hold many types of documents and materials that assist in studying the past.Events and actions of the past affect the present and the future.Throughout American history, Jewish Americans have fought for what they believe is right. LESSON PLAN – FOR 6th GRADERS AND ABOVE Download the PDF

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Lesson Plan – Breaking Down Identity Barriers (WWII and 9/11)


On February 3, 1943 — a day in the midst of a war motivated by identity persecution — the U.S.S Dorchester was torpedoed off the coast of Greenland (Krome), causing a tragic turn of events for the military passengers of this vessel. As the ship began to sink four military chaplains — Protestant Reverends George…

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