After fifty years, a memorial to fallen Jewish soldiers in the U.S. Armed forces has been relocated to the town green in front of Borough Hall in New Milford, New Jersey. The memorial was previously on a township-owned site near Congregation Beth Tikvah on River Road in New Milford and was taken care of by the Teaneck/New Milford Post of the Jewish War Veterans. With the impending sale of the synagogue, the offer was made by officials in New Milford to move the monument where it can continue to be maintained and included in Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day ceremonies. The monument now stands flanked by the stately New Milford monument to the fallen soldiers of World War I and II as well as the Korean War and the JWV memorial tree planted in memory of the seven astronauts who perished in the Spaceship Columbia mission in 2003.
The Jewish War Veterans of America (JWV) was founded in 1896 as an organization to support the Jewish members of the United States Armed Forces. The members of local chapters of the JWV are mostly an aging group of men who served in World War II or the Korean War, according to Ralph Gerber, commander of the Teaneck/New Milford post. The local chapters are in Teaneck/New Milford, Fair Lawn, Fort Lee and Paramus. Chapters have monthly meetings where the number of participants has been dwindling as the members have grown older and some have become infirm. Members of the local Teaneck/New Milford chapter participate in local parades and run a bingo game on the 4th Monday night of every month at the Paramus Veterans home in which prize money is awarded and money is raised to maintain their post.
Ralph Gerber said it “was a very nice gesture [on behalf of New Milford] to move the monument,” and said they look forward to participating in township occasions which honor our fallen soldiers at the new site of the memorial.
by Sara Prager Photo credit: Sara Prager