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About JWB Jewish Chaplains Council

Supporting Jewish men and women who serve our country is at the heart of all we do.

Whether lobbying Congress so a Marine can wear a kippah (ritual head covering) in service, providing a Seder for soldiers stationed at a remote base in Afghanistan, advocating for time for religious observance (such as Shiva periods), lobbying for kosher rations in the U.S. military, or raising awareness of Jews in the military, JWB Jewish Chaplains Council® (JWB) is there.

Since 1917, our role has been to safeguard the rights, fulfill the religious and spiritual needs, combat loneliness and isolation, and honor the service of Jews in the United States armed forces. We endorse Jewish chaplains to the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs, augmenting their resources and advocating on matters of policy.

JWB is guided by the Plenum, a body that consists of four rabbis who represent the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR, Reform), the Rabbinical Assembly (RA, Conservative), the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA, Orthodox), and the Association of Rabbis and Cantors (ARC). It also includes three active-duty Jewish chaplains who represent the major service branches—the Army, Navy, and Air Force—and are known as the Chaplains Advisory Group (CAG), as well as representatives of the VA Chaplaincy. The Plenum provides full support services to Jewish chaplains, administers ecclesiastical approval for chaplain candidates and Jewish lay leaders in the military, and is the only organization that endorses chaplains from all streams of Judaism.

In addition to endorsing Jewish chaplains, JWB has two more focus areas, both stemming from its original vision of 1917: Jews serving in the military and Jewish Community Centers. These two roles come together when JWB empowers JCCs to be community leaders on outreach and engagement of service members and their families and veterans. JWB helps JCCs fulfill their mission to create and support diverse Jewish communities and build and support individuals’ Jewish identities. It builds bridges between Jewish communities and the Jewish military community.