Approximately 550,000 Jewish Americans served in the armed forces during World War II, about 4.23 percent of the total number of troops. Both Roosevelt and General Douglas MacArthur praised their bravery specifically. During the war, 52,000 Jewish soldiers received an award or decoration of some kind and 11,000 were killed.
Now, close to 60 years after World War II, veterans of the conflict have aged and their numbers are dwindling, but despite current ambivalence toward American war-like nature, America's participation in World War II and relative success in making the world "safe for democracy" is never questioned.
Besides limiting the TV viewing of his girls, ages 5 and 9, Finley said, "I tell them, 'I'll let you know when it's time to worry.'"
"When there's been a big battle," the rabbi continued, "I tell them the next day, 'It was time to worry, but I forgot to tell you, so now you don't have to worry.'"
And so each day goes for the Finleys and thousands of American families like them, who desperately hope to learn something about the fate of their loved ones and try somehow to deal with knowing very little.
Kayitz is one of approximately 1,000 Jewish men and woman serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. They represent a fraction of the estimated 20,000 Jews among the 1.5 million in the U.S. armed forces.
Putting a new spin on Chanukah celebrations, the U.S. Marine Corps Marching Band will perform at The Calabasas Shul's annual menorah-lighting ceremony to honor the men and women of the United States armed forces.
Gil Wiener, the husky soldier who dragged out the first survivor of the Nairobi bombing to be saved by the Israeli dog squad last weekend, is a 29-year-old architecture student working his way through college as a lifeguard at the Hebrew University swimming pool in Jerusalem.