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Jews in the US Military

A discussion with a military chaplain and an academic about the reality and history of Jews in the armed services

US Army Capt. Mendy Stern, chaplain for the 312th Military Intelligence Battalion, sets up for a Passover seder for Jewish troops serving in Afghanistan. (Courtesy, Chabad)
Illustrative: US Army Capt. Mendy Stern, chaplain for the 312th Military Intelligence Battalion, sets up for a Passover seder for Jewish troops serving in Afghanistan (Courtesy, Chabad)

What does it mean to be a Jew in the United States military? Phil Lieberman, an Orthodox rabbi, professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt, and a decorated, active-duty military chaplain, talks with Yehuda Kurtzer about how success as a Jewish navy chaplain is not always measured by the size of community but in educating others about Jewish life. Ronit Stahl, author and associate professor at UC Berkeley, frames the larger historical context of Jews in the armed services normalizing Judaism as an American religion.

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Identity/Crisis is a weekly podcast from the Shalom Hartman Institute about news and ideas.

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