Jewish

 

Civil War Era

Jewish Kiddish Cup

Civil War era Jewish Kiddish Cup, dated 1862, likely similar to what was used by Jewish Chaplains during the Civil War. On display at the National Civil War Chaplains Museum.

Civil War Jewish Chaplain

A likely set-up for Jewish worship during the Civil War, on display at the National Civil War Chaplains Museum.

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World War 2 Era

The portable ark and altar below was used by Army Chaplain Martin Weitz during World War II. On display at the National Museum of American Jewish Military History in Washington, DC (author’s photos).

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Korean War Era

Chaplain kits for Jewish Chaplains were also improved and produced during the Korean War and following. Below are two kits from the 1950’s. The brass kit on the left is the older of the two (photos courtesy Chaplain Bob Nay):

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Following is a Jewish kit from the late 1950’s/early 1960’s. The Menorah and candlesticks are marked “US” (photo courtesy of Chaplain Bob Nay):

Jewish-50s-60s-Nay

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Below is another Jewish Kit from the 1950’s/1960’s. This one replaced the Star of David with the Tablets of the Law (photo courtesy of Chaplain Bob Nay):

late 1950-1960 Jewish-Nays

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Vietnam Era

In the late 1950’s a new design of Jewish Chaplain kit was being developed. The one pictured below has a manufacturer’s plate dated “1959, Lot 1.” Being in the first lot would indicate the beginning of production for this manufacturer of this style. The components of this kit are brass, like some of the older kits coming out of WW2 and the Korean War, but are of the style of the later kits (farther below) which continued to be issued until the “Combat Assault” kits came out in the 1990’s. This particular kit belonged to Chaplain Harold Kushner who was an Army Chaplain 1960-1962 before becoming a famous rabbi and author of “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” among many other books. It contains two candlesticks, a kiddish cup and a yad. It is missing the Torah scrolls, wine bottle, prayer shawl and Jewish Prayer Books (author’s collection):

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Emerging from the Vietnam War, the Jewish kits contained similar components to the 1959 kit (above) but were chrome. Here is one from this period, missing the Torah and yad (author’s collection):

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Below is another Jewish Chaplain Kit from the era, on display at the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps Museum (photo by author):

Chaplain-Kit-Jewish-2

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Following is another example of a Jewish Kit produced following Vietnam. “In the “Jewish Chaplain Kit,” the case acts as the Ark, with two covers and a detachable bottom; a Torah with cover; two prayer shawls, Yarmulkes; a Yad; a Bimah (velvet cover); several sets of candles with holders and stands; and a Kiddush cup with cap” (photo from the Hampton Roads Naval Museum).

JewishServiceKit

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This is a diagram of how the contents of the Jewish Chaplain Kit are stowed for storage and travel inside the case and how it should be set up for use:

Jewish Chaplain Kit

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Below is the current issue Jewish Chaplain Kit in the “Combat Assault” format though, as noted, the cases will change pattern with the uniforms (author’s collection):

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