2—Friday, March 20, 1970
Veterans of the
Veterans of the
Veterans of the
United States of
EIGHT MILE ROAD
Detroit, Mich. 48219
In the ensuing pages, you will note the many good wishes
that are being conveyed to our organization on the occa-
sion of our double celebration: the beginning - of our 75th
Year as a National organization and the start of our 30th
Year as the Department of Michigan.
I thank you, on behalf of the Department of Michigan, for
your many warm and sincere best wishes. And, I thank
the many • chairmen and committeemen, who have made
this supplement possible, through their great effort.
In turn, however, I would like to salute YOU, the people
of Michigan. who have so nobly supported our purposes,
aims, and aspirations throughout the years.
Your magnificent contributions to our Memorial Home on
Davison Avenue years ago, deserve special mention. It is
hoped that you will make it possible In the near future,
by your sincere contributions, to build our new SHRINE
TO THE JEWISH WAR DEAD, where future generations
may be reminded of the sacrifices of the men and women
of Jewish Faith, who died in, the defense of our beloved
Country, and for the ideals and principles, which are so
dear to us.
My recent visit to Israel, as representative to the Jewish
War Veterans Convocation, was exceptionally inspirational.
The people . . . their dedication and devotion to their
Country . was a great sight to behold. As a Jewish War
Veteran, the band between me, an American Jew and the
Israeli Jew became stronger. We are, and have, fought
for the same democratic ideals, and to uphold the fair
name of Jews all over the world.
I hope you will join us at our birthday party on Saturday,
March 28 . THE DIAMOND JUBILEE BALL.
/101V.4 RD 1VATERSTONE
Howard Waterstone, Commander
Department of Michigan, J.W.V.
21561 W. 8 Mile Road
Detroit, Michigan 98219
Dear Commander Waterston:
As we begin celebration of the 75th year of the Jewish
War Veterans of the United States of America, we are
reminded of that day in 1657 when Asser Levy petitioned
Governor Peter Stuyvesant of New Amsterdam (New York)
to allow him, a Jew, to participate in the general training
and guard duty against assaults from the wilderness of
Manhattan. Asser Levy's petition was granted and the
Jews of New Amsterdam were granted the privilege of de-
fending their newly-adopted land and the people thereof.
From that day forward—and through the Revolutionary
War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, and all the other
wars in which the United States has participated—Jews
have taken their place alongside their neighbors in de-
fense of their beloved land.
On March 15, 1896, sixty-seven veterans of the Union
Army gathered at the Old Lexington Avenue Opera House
in New York City and formed the organization known to-
day as the Jewish War Veterans of the United States.
The Jewish War Veterans have been dedicated to
maintaining true allegiance to our country; to combating
bigotry; and to protecting the fair name of the Jew.
The Department of Michigan, Jewish War Veterans,
has played an integray part in fostering and maintaining
the spirit of comradeship among the men who have fought
in the wars of the United States. The Department of Mich-
igan, Jewish War Veterans, has provided many national
and state-wide leaders in veterans affairs.
As we look forward to our 100th anniversary, we
pledge to continue to be the patriotic voice of Jewry.
Bernard B. Direnfeld,
We, the women of the Department of Michigan,
Jewish War Veterans Ladies Auxiliary, re-dedicate
ourselves during our Diamond Jubilee Year.
We renew our pledge:
To service the men in uniform
To service the veteran
To service needy veterans' children
To service our fellow Jew
To serve our nation
We are proud of our organization's accomplish-
ments for the past seventy-five years and we pledge
our continued efforts towards insuring a brighter
if you are eligible, won't you join us?
Department of Michigan Ladies
:J .\'i V NIENTui:LA I,
Federal Judge Lawrence Gubow
.1.W v. National Erevniive 'Committeeman
Vice President of National Shrine
Nationat 75th Anniversary Co-Chairman
President, Jewish Community Council
"It is a gloomy moment in history. Not in the lifetime of any man who reads
this paper has there been so nilich grave and deep apprehension; never
has the future seemed so dark min incalculable. The United States is beset
with racial, industrial and commercial chaos, drifting we know not Where.
Russia hangs like a storm cloud over Europe—dark, menacing and fore-
boding. It is a solemn moment. and no man can feel indifference. which
happily no man pretends to feel in the issue of events. Of our own troubles.
no man can sec the end — "
These words, had they appeared in yesterday's paper, might have been taken
as a contemporary comment, appropriate to the times. But they did not appear
■ esterday or for a good many yesterdays. They are taken from an editorial appearing
in Harper's Magazine in 1847.
All of which may seem curious as an introduction to some thoughts about the
Jewish War Veterans as we celebrate this diamond jubilee occasion. But they get to
the point of what I want to say.
Our nation, as have our people. has gone through periods of strain and crisis,
and the words quoted above have a very relevant sound. The path of democracy is
not the easiest one to pursue. It is probably, in fact, the most difficult, and the one
that challenges us to most sophisticaed and thoughtful judgments. In a democracy,
we face the trials of nationhood freely and openly; we engage our probleMs in the
markCt place. so to speak. where all may "have at them"; and those problems that
press the most upon us, that pose the most serious challenges, become the ones that
are the most talked about. And not to discount the gravity or immediacy of some
of these national problems. I think 'it is true that very often the appearance, the
tumult, the 'concern and the rhetoric, belie the reality of progress in strategic areas.
The warnings posed by this quotation of a few generations back, because they
sound so timely-, may leave the inference that nothing gets solved. The fact is, though,
that our nation, daring to discuss its problems, possessing the courage to trust
solutions to the utlimate wisdom of free people, has survived crisis after crisis and
has emerged over.,the years with enhanced strength and prestige. To order our affairs
in any other maiiner,would be to invite the greater risks of complacency or imposed
solutions. Thus, facing up to "the gloomy moment in history" to which the editorial
writer alluded in 1847 remains the task of 1970 and will probably continue as the
- task of generations yet to come, as long as free people are in charge of their
For me, JWV is my Jewish investment in this task of moving America forward,
and I can think of no other organization better suited to the responsibility. Bringing
the Jewish community into the family of veteran organizations, JWV affirms our
constructive interest in the welfare of those who fought to maintain the freedoms
that we cherish. Beyond that, its influence among allied veteran organizations and,
accordingly, upon the course of our nation is a reflection of the ideals and aspira-
tions that as Jews and Americans we hold in high regard.
I had reason to think about the role and significance of JWV on my recent:trip
to Israel for our National .Executive meeting. In response to the invitation from
JWV, the National Commander of the American Legion accompanied our group and
thrilled with us to the miracle of rebuilding and redemption which we witnessed.
And his visit had been preceded by the visit we witnessed. And his visit had been
preceded by the visit of several Past National Commanders of the country's major
veteran groups, also arranged through JWV. And, when leaders of the American
Jewish community gathered in an emergency session in Washington in January to
give voice to our concern about the drift of American policy in respect to the Middle
East, we found satisfaction again in the fact that our concern was shared by other
veterans, who were represented .by the top leaders of their organizations. I mention
these events to suggst that the organization which we salute as it begins its '75th
anniversary year performs a service—in the interest of America and the Jewish
community — that is unique to our character as an association of American Jews and
I started this message with a quotation that originated a few generations back.
The words impressed me because they said something to me about the continuing,
the restless, the probing process of democracy. JWV is my way of saying, as an
American and a Jew, that I believe in this process; that I believe it serves the best
interests of my country and my people; that I believe the problems we face will be
as manageable as our will to solve them remains strong; and that I believe history
demonstrates this faith.
Because overuse has dulled the meaning of such descriptives as "militant,"
"liberal," "conservative," etc., I purposely do not choose to use these kinds of
words in characterizing the stance of JWV in respect to the positions it takes, the
issuts it faces. I would rather take as our guideline the integrity and sincerity of
our elief and the readiness to move affirmatively for that which we know needs doing.
Perhaps both the prescriptive guideline and the characterization of JWV were
provided for us:
"Let us act like men of thought.
Let us think like men of action."