96-H 9101

Passed in House

May 8, 1996.


WHEREAS, The history of the Jewish people is an ancient melancholy chronicle of wandering, persecution and death on a scale that beggars the imagination. From religious, social and economic discrimination in Western Europe, to the pogroms in Russia, to near extermination at the hands of the Nazis, to the destruction of Jewish life and traditions in the post-war Soviet Union and its satellites, Jews throughout most of their history have never really been allowed to live on their own terms in what is commonly referred to as the "Old World". Only in the United States over the course of the past three centuries have Jews enjoyed the opportunities afforded by freedom and equality; and

WHEREAS, With freedom and opportunity come responsibilities, and American Jews have always embraced their civic obligations. Whenever the nation has called upon its citizens to serve in the military, Jews have readily answered the call to arms in every conflict in which the United States has been involved. Records prove that from the Revolution, through the Civil War, two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm and myriad smaller conflicts, more than 1,000,000 Jews have honorably served in this country's armed forces; and

WHEREAS, Organized in 1896 by veterans of the American Civil War, the Jewish War Veterans, the oldest active veterans' organization in the United States, can look back with pride on a century of distinguished service to the nation, both on and off of the battlefield. During the turbulent 1930s, it was the Jewish War Veterans who sponsored economic boycotts of German goods and services and led effective anti-propaganda measures against Nazi barbarism abroad and Bund sympathizers at home; and

WHEREAS, The organization was among the first to recognize and speak out against the insidious Communist ideology and take steps to rouse the nation to the defense of liberty. The Jewish War Veterans have also aggressively championed the cause of just care and treatment for disabled and needy veterans of all creeds, fostered greater educational opportunities, group integration, and community welfare projects and have constructively promoted the ideals of freedom that are the bedrock upon which this noble nation is founded; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is hereby pleased and proud to recognize a century of sacrifice and devotion to Rhode Island and the nation by the members of the Jewish War Veterans. From Francis Salvador of South Carolina, the first Jew to fall in the American Revolution, to the devoted war veterans of today, it is only right that all Americans be made aware of the innumerable contributions of Jewish war veterans to the defense and security of the United States in the hope that this knowledge may foster in others the respect and esteem that these patriotic citizens have clearly earned; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to Neil Goldman, National Commander of the Jewish War Veterans.

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