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January 18, 1991 - Image 56

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-01-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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56

FRIDAY, JANUARY 18, 1991

T

he six triangular dis-
play cases are filled
with every day objects
of a soldier's life. Uniforms
and helmets, medals and
military identification tags,
even a razor and sewing kit
are all neatly laid out in the
cases.
These objects help bring to
life six individual ser-
vicemen. They served in two
different wars — World War I
and the Vietnam War — and
represented all branches of
the military. And all six were
Jewish.
This spotlight on six in-
dividuals in the military is
just one highlight of the ex-
hibit at the Jewish War
Veterans — U.S.A. National
Memorial and Musuem in
Washington, D.C.
The six special display cases
are part of a larger exhibit,
"Perspectives on Patriotism,"
which covers the participa-
tion of Jewish soldiers in
every war. It includes
everything from Congres-
sional medals won by Jewish
soldiers to a Jewish War
Veterans' poster from 1938
urging a boycott of German
goods.
The chance to see this ex-
hibit — and to visit the only
veterans' musuem of its kind
in the United States — is one
of the opportunities available
to the Jewish traveler in
Washington, D.C.
It's well known that the na-
tion's capital, which attracts
20 million tourists a year, has
an impressive variety of
museums, over two dozen ma-
jor ones as well as smaller
specialized ones.
But it's less well known
that among the many mu-
seums are several of special

interest to the Jewish
traveler.
One of the most unusual is
the Jewish War Veterans
Museum at 1811 R Street,
where the special exhibit
"Perspectives on Patriotism"
is on display.
"The purpose of our exhibit
is to show that American
Jews have fought and died in
every war," explains Leslie
Freudenheim, curator of the
exhibit. "Jews are just as
patriotic as everyone else, and
that's what we wanted to
show."
The focus on six particular
Jews who fought in World
War I and the Vietnam War
is one way to show Jewish

Although no longer
a functioning
synagogue, it is
open to visitors as
a museum of the
early growth of
Washington's
Jewish life.

patriotism. They came from
diverse backgrounds, but
each of them exemplified
Jewish patriotism.
During World War I, Oscar
Gruber of Philadelphia was
stationed at an army hospital
in France; Jay Riseman from
Boston served in General
John J. Pershing's unit; and
Elijah Wisebram, a Russian
immigrant from Barnesville,
Ga., fought in France in the
82nd Division.
Fifty years later, Fred
Zedeck, an air force navigator
from Brooklyn, served in the
Vietnam War. So did Jospeh
Goldstein, a navy officer from
Roosevelt, N.J., who won the
Vietnam Gallantry Cross;
and Roger Briskin of Ard-
more, Pa., a young marine
who was killed in action at
age 19.

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