ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Jewish War Veterans is actually the longest-running active veterans group in the US, and Rochester has one of the strongest chapters.
Rochester member Larry Schulman served as National Commander of the organization about 15 years ago. He’s a Cold War veteran who sat down with Adam Chodak to talk about why the group started and what it does now.
Adam Chodak: You must take pride in that fact that you helped to lead the oldest active veterans group in the country.
Larry Schulman: It’s a great honor to be a national commander for this group. They have done a lot of things nationally that we locally really can’t do and one of the main things is lobbying Congress to keep things going as far as any military bills that come before Congress. As well as, as an aside, supporting Israel. That’s another thing that’s important to Jewish War Veterans.
AC: As far as the Jewish community participating in the military, that has been there for many generations.
LS: It has. Recently the numbers we have is about 2% of the Jewish population has served in the military or are serving since, and we have a long history in that respect because we go back to 1896 when the Jewish War Veterans was formed, and unfortunately they were formed primarily because of the same problems we’re having today. They said the Jews never fought in the Civil War, so a group of men got together and formed the Jewish War Veterans.
AC: Any message that you’d like to send out to the community?
LS: I think, basically, what’s going on today as far as anti-Semitism is concerned, I think we have to realize that we were started because of that, and it continues now and I think it’s something that the Jewish people and the Jewish War Veterans can help get the word out as far as what we could do in the community to make sure people understand that the Jews have done many, many things in the country and also in the community.