Last week, I was perusing through the TV guide. As I scanned through the titles, I came across one that immediately grabbed my attention ~ GI Jews. Intrigued, I turned it on to see what it was all about.
GI Jews is the story of the 550,000 Jewish men and women who served our country during WWII. Most of these soldiers were 2nd generation Americans. They were strongly patriotic. Not only were they fighting anti-Semitism in Europe, but many were fighting it within their own units.
On top of that, the Jewish men and women were tasked with educating their fellow servicemen and servicewomen, and answering questions pertaining to their Judaism. For many, serving in WWII was the first time they had ever met a Jewish person. It was a fascinating documentary.
This film was particularly meaningful to me for two reasons. First, my father was a WWII veteran. He enlisted in the Air Corps after Pearl Harbor. He was initially turned away because he was underweight by military standards. So he went home, and his mother sewed weights into his underwear. Needless to say he got in after that.
The second reason this documentary struck a chord with me is because it ended with the story of WWII hero Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds. I was fortunate enough to hear his son, Pastor Chris Edmonds, speak at Miami University this past April. You can click here to read about the courageous actions of Sergeant Edmonds and Pastor Edmonds inspiring presentation about his father’s heroic acts.
I was delighted to find out that Pastor Chris Edmonds will be at Temple Israel on Friday, September 7th. I encourage you to attend as Pastor Edmonds shares his father’s brave story and how his tenacity to do what was right helped to save the lives of 200 Jews. Services begin at 6pm. For more information, please contact Temple Israel at 937-496-0050.
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