In April 2008 my novel MRS. LIEUTENANT – based on my experiences as a new Mrs. Lieutenant in the spring of 1970 during the Vietnam War – was published. In connection with this I started blogging about military (and Jewish military) matters.
I soon joined the website JewsinGreen.com, which calls itself “The Ultimate Resource for Jews in the U.S. Armed Forces” and does have a section with info for Jewish military personnel stationed at specific bases. Yet nowhere did I find the community support for Jews in the military as I found throughout the internet for U.S. armed forces in general. And I knew that there’s a huge shortage of Jewish chaplains in the U.S. military.
During summer 2008 I participated in the online fundraising effort Operation Soldier Care, and in the fall I sponsored “Honor a Veteran” on the Mrs. Lieutenant: A Sharon Gold Novel page on Facebook. And I also became the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show “Your Military Life” that premiered in November 2008, and I joined the Military Writers Society of America.
On the second day of Rosh Hashanah (October 1, 2008), at a Rosh Hashanah open house, I spoke to a rabbi at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. He told me the story of why the Conservative Jewish movement no longer required rabbis to serve in the military. And he agreed with me that civilian rabbis could help out on military bases where there are no Jewish chaplains. We decided to work together to see about civilian rabbis volunteering to conduct High Holiday services and other services at bases without Jewish chaplains.
In the ensuing months I received lots of opinions on how to do this. And then on December 31st the solution to the various obstacles occurred to me. I would take everything I’d learned during 2008 about internet marketing and create an inbound marketing website that would ask people to help support Jews in the military.
This epiphany happened on the same day that the active duty Air Force chaplain I’d been emailing pointed out to me all the different ways the U.S. Jewish community could support Jews serving in the military.
I immediately got the domain name OperationSupportJewsintheMilitary.com. Then my younger daughter Yael, as part of our Miller Mosaic, LLC services, built the website. And now this website is asking you, the U.S. Jewish community, to support Jews in the military.
P.S. Read my entire novel MRS. LIEUTENANT for free online. I am also the co-author with Rabbi Karen L. Fox of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION with illustrations by Vicki Reikes Fox.
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