On Sunday, a small group of Jewish military veterans gathered in our Social Hall for meeting and eating. They are members of Post #785, The Sandford Baer Post of the South Hills. The guest speaker was Clarence “Code” Gomberg of Post #499. Code (pronounced Cody) is active in state and national JWV affairs and gave an update.
“As with all veterans groups, our numbers get smaller each year because most of the members are WWII vets. In recent years, the American Legion closed 12 posts in Allegheny County. While the JWV is obviously much smaller than the Legion and VFW, it is important that we maintain the 5 posts we have in Allegheny County without further closures and mergers. We must find a way to connect with Jewish veterans when they separate from the service. When I came out of the service after WWII, I was directed to a JWV officer to find out what help or services I could receive. That doesn’t happen now and we need to change that. Also, we need to find a way to bring in our Vietnam era and Gulf War era veterans, although there simply aren’t that many of them”.
The group posed for a picture and then shared in a meal of salmon cakes and vegetables. A shul member donated a cake for the luncheon and in the icing it read “Thank You JWV #785”. There were many compliments on the Social Hall renovations. And I suggested to Code that we could offer the Post a permanent home here in Carnegie. By having a resident location we would be able to recruit more successfully and find those Jewish veterans in the South Hills and West Hills areas. There are certainly more veterans in our local South Hills congregations, even some in our own congregation, who don’t know about the JWV. His response was, “it certainly would be helpful. Let’s consider that option.”
Pictured left to right seated: Geri Gomberg, Roseann Tisherman, Isadore Horowitz, Leslie Clifford. Standing: Richard D’Loss, Albert Brunwasser, Martin Shor, Morton Lowe, Clarence Gomberg, Harris Tisherman. click on photo for enlargement
See also this story on WQED about Code.