JWB Jewish Chaplains Council will be hosting its largest gathering of Jewish military chaplains in over a decade on April 21-24, 2013 at the Commodore Levy Center, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. Attendees are arriving from Afghanistan, Okinawa, Europe, and other spots around the world, with 34 currently serving military and VA chaplains and 20 lay leaders representing all branches of the military and all streams of Judaism in the United States. JWB Jewish Chaplains Council provides religious and moral support to Jewish military personnel and has been a government-approved endorsing agency for Jewish military chaplains since World War I.
The Jewish Chaplains’ and Lay Leaders’ Training Course, Spiritual Resilience in Times of Transition, will focus on the issues raised by the planned decrease in military expenditure and the difficulties of ministering to Jews in a time of constricted budgets. The conference is largely funded by the Jewish Community Centers Association (assisted by the JFNA Alliance), fulfilling its mission to care for American Jewish communities in special circumstances.
Twenty attendees will also be participating in a Shabbaton: Spiritual Retreat prior to the conference.
Admiral Mark E. Ferguson III USN, 37th Vice Chief of Naval Operations, will address the unique role of the chaplain as confidential counselor and advisor to all members of the command, including the commander. This marks the first time a serving four-star admiral is a keynote speaker at the conference. Other notable speakers include:
- All three Chiefs of Chaplains
- • The Honorable Anthony J. Stamilio, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Department of the Army (Civilian Personnel & Quality of Life) on suicide prevention
- • Rabbi (Major) Reuben Livingstone, Royal Army Chaplains Department, Principal Jewish Chaplain to HM (British) Forces on ministry to a pluralistic Jewish military community.
Also in attendance will be senior leaders representing the Rabbinical Assembly (RA), the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA).