In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 4, 2004 /15 Sivan, 5764

More Tears by the Rivers of Babylon: Jewish Servicemen Killed in Iraq

By Nate Bloom

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https://www.jewishworldreview.com | It is impossible to compile an absolutely accurate list of the Jewish service personnel who have been killed in Iraq. The Defense Department no longer keeps statistics on the religion of their personnel. Moreover, Jewish chaplains observe a policy of strict confidentiality regarding the faith of service personnel and will neither confirm nor deny whether a war casualty was Jewish.

There is one more complication. Cheryl Waldman, public relations officer for the Jewish War Veterans, told me that many Jewish service personnel in Iraq are probably "flying under the radar." They do not want their Jewishness known lest it cause problems in their unit or, more seriously, that this fact becomes known to their enemies.

Nevertheless, the names of 9 Jewish men killed in combat have become part of the public record via obituary notices and similar sources. And we honor them:

Marine Cpl. Mark Asher Evnin, 21, of South Burlington, Vermont, died in Iraq on April 3, 2003, of wounds received in action. He was a scout sniper with the 3/4 of the 1st Marine Division at 29 Palms, California. Evnin is the best known of the Jewish war dead because he was the first Jewish serviceman to die and he was among the first two dozen casualties of the war. His story was told in an April 15, 2003 Jewish Telegraph Agency article: "The first known Jewish casualty of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Evnin opened an emotional outpouring from Jews around the world. 'From Israel to New Jersey, people have been calling, writing. It has been incredible,' said Evnin's mother, Mindy Evnin…'I don't know why it is. Maybe it's because the war might help Israel,' she said. 'Maybe because my father was a rabbi. I don't know, but it gives me pleasure.'"

Evnin was a 2000 graduate of South Burlington High School. He played high school football, lacrosse, and was a cross-country skier. His survivors include his parents, his maternal grandparents, and his paternal grandmother. His traditional Jewish funeral attracted over 1,000 mourners, including Gov. Douglas of Vermont.

Army Spc. Jeffrey M. Wershow, 22, of Gainesville, Fla.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division, Orlando, Fla.; was shot and killed on July 6, 2003 in Baghdad. Wershow was a member of the Florida Army National Guard.

His life and death was profiled in USA Today. "... Wershow never let his guard down. His buddies nicknamed him "The General" because he strode about with a sense of purpose and confidence. ….He always stood at attention when addressing officers, when most other soldiers sweltering in the heat here would take a more casual attitude. So it was a shock on July 6 when the aspiring politician from Gainesville, Fla., was gunned down on the campus of Baghdad University after buying a 7-Up. If this gung-ho soldier who wanted another stint in Iraq could be killed in such a brazen way in a crowded place, his buddies figured it could happen to them, too. For the men of "Charlie" Company… of the Florida National Guard, Wershow's death occurred when most thought they would already be home....Buddies say Wershow was intelligent, tenacious and so gregarious that he'd talk to anyone, anytime. He loved to debate, even going so far as to take a position he opposed just to get a good argument going. 'He called himself a conservative Democrat, but we always teased him that he was a closet Republican,' recalls Glass, the company commander who's also from Gainesville. Wershow enlisted in the Army in 1999 after high school and served three years. When he got out in June 2002, he joined the National Guard. He had been back in Gainesville just six months, taking [college classes], when he was called to active duty...After several weeks of training, his company arrived…in Jordan on Feb. 16. Their mission was to provide security and search-and-rescue support to the special operations forces…. Wershow's unit became one of the first to enter Iraq as the war began. Under cover of darkness and using night-vision goggles to see, they breached dirt berms on Iraq's borders with Jordan and Saudi Arabia to allow special operations forces to drive through...The soldiers were led to believe they would be sent home in mid-May. Instead, [his company} was ordered to Baghdad. Wershow fretted that he would miss the fall semester at college. He talked about following his father, Jon Wershow, a former Alachua County, Fla., commissioner, to law school and then, perhaps, to elected office."

Wershow was guarding a detail of civilian Americans meeting with Iraqi university officials when he left the meeting, after two hours, to get a soft drink. He was fatally shot in the back of the neck by a gunman on the campus. The gunman escaped in the confusion that followed the shooting. Senator Bill Nelson of Florida called Wershow's death "an assassination."

Wershow was buried at his family's farm near Gainesville. He was awarded a Bronze Star for valor. More than 1,000 mourners, including many high-ranking officers, attended a memorial in the Oak Hall School gymnasium. Wershow's survivors include his father and mother, a stepmother and a stepfather, and a younger brother.

David Bernstein, 24, formerly of Phoenixville, Pa., a first lieutenant with the Army's 173rd Airborne Infantry Brigade, was killed on October, 16, 2003, in Iraq, when enemy forces ambushed his patrol with rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire. According to the local Phoenixville paper, the 173rd is famous for its quick reactions, most often carried out by parachuting into war zones. Bernstein was dropped into northern Iraq at the beginning of the war and had remained there since, according to his father, Richard Bernstein. His father told the paper, "He was an exceptional man and a wonderful person and he will be missed terribly. He felt very indebted to this country for what it has done for him, and for everyone. He wanted to serve his country, and he did."

David Bernstein was the 1997 valedictorian of his high school. He graduated fifth in his class from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point four years later. His funeral was held at the Jewish chapel at West Point. Survivors include his parents, a brother, and sister.

There was a little joke in the Bernstein family that the first through fourth ranking cadet got an award at graduation, but there was no award for the cadet ranking fifth in their class. Therefore, as a perpetual tribute to David, his family has established the 1st Lt. David R. Bernstein Memorial Award to be given to those in each graduating class of West Point who achieve the fifth highest class standing. The award has Academy approval and donations may be made through: https://www-secure.west-point.org/drb/memorial/donate

Army Pfc. Jacob S. Fletcher, 26, of Bay Shore, NY, was killed in Iraq on November 13, 2003. He was with Company C, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade. Fletcher was killed when a bus he was riding in was hit by an explosive device. He was a 1994 graduate of Babylon High School and was inspired to join the military following the death of a friend in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. His father, Marlowe Fletcher, told Newsday, "Whether people believe in the war or not, you have to believe in our soldiers. This was an American soldier, airborne. He was my beloved son and he was a hero."

Army Spc. Marc S. Seiden, 26, of Brigantine, New Jersey, died in Baghdad, Iraq, on January 3, 2004, when his convoy was ambushed by the enemy who used an improvised explosive device, small arms fire, and a rocket-propelled grenade. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne. His mother told the Fayetteville, North Carolina Observer that Seiden was "a daredevil since childhood" which led him to join the airborne. "I always had to have 25 eyes on him."

Marc Seiden was a New York Mets fan and played soccer in high school. He joined the Army in April 2002 and was assigned to the 82nd in September of that year. His mother, Gail Seiden, said that Marc joined the Army in part because of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. She added, "He joined because he felt he had a duty. I didn't understand it when he did it. I was angry at him because I knew what could possibly happen. But he felt like he could fight for his country and he wanted to." Marc, his mother said, called his family twice on New Year's eve and once on New Year's day. Marc was excited about coming home since his unit was scheduled to come back in February. His brother and sister-in-law, Gail Seiden explained, were expecting their first child. "Our first grandchild [was going] be born in two weeks, and [Marc] just could not wait. He was going to be the godfather." Seiden was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star for valor.

Army Lt. Seth Dvorin, of East Brunswick, New Jersey, a member of the 10th Mountain Division, based at Fort Drum, N.Y., was killed February 3, 2004 in Iraq. His sister, Rebekah, told the Associated Press that the army informed her that "Seth's unit had been ordered to clear the area of the homemade mines and bombs that have killed dozens of troops...they were in a convoy and saw something in the road. My brother, the hero, told his driver to stop. That's when the bomb detonated, when they were trying to dismantle it." His father, Richard Dvorin, an Air Force veteran and retired New Brunswick police officer, told the AP that his son was a loyal, responsible commander who sought to make life as easy as possible on the soldiers he oversaw. Offered two weeks' leave in December, his father said, Seth refused to go because so many of his platoon members had not yet had the chance.

Richard Dvorin, with tears rolling down his face, told the AP, "He was a good human being." Seth's survivors include his father, his sister, and his wife---a college sweetheart he had married a week before he was deployed. Dvorin was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star for valor.

Sgt. Elijah Tai Wah Wong, 42, of Mesa, Arizona was killed Feb. 9, 2004 in Sinjar, Iraq when he and other soldiers were trying to move a cache of unexploded rocket-propelled grenades and mortar rounds, which had been seized from enemy forces. The cache blew up, killing Wong and another soldier. Wong was with the 363rd Explosive Ordnance Company, Army National Guard, based in Casa Grande, Ariz.

As reported by the Chicago Tribune: "He himself was a composite of widely different cultures, a living example of the United States' hodgepodge of infused immigrant experiences, religions and races.His Chinese father, Wong Ning Nam, who was born in 1908, came to the U.S. by ship from Hong Kong. He landed in San Francisco without a suitcase and settled eventually in New York, where he married a Jewish woman, Wong's mother, Olga. 'My father came to this country with the shirt on his back," said Wong's sister, Helga. 'In the course of one generation, he has five children who are college-educated and own their own homes, as well as some of them owning their own businesses.'"

Wong was born and raised in New York, but moved to Israel as a teenager. He went to an Israeli high school and became a soldier in the Israeli army. He enlisted in the Air Force after returning to the States. Wong also served in the NY Air National Guard and the Air Forces Reserves before enlisting in the Arizona National Guard. He worked as a probation officer for Maricopa County, Arizona and was the married father of three minor children.

Helga Wong told the Tribune, "He was probably the most amazing person I have ever met. He really cared about everyone and everybody." She told the Arizona Republic this his work for the probation department was "Part of his plan to save the world. He tried to help the former inmates under his supervision work their way back into society. He believed in his country, with all its pros and cons.... I cannot imagine how many countless lives were saved by the (explosives) he had processed already."

Ironically, Helga Wong, a New York ballet dancer, saw one of the planes slam into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 from the window of her mother's downtown apartment.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Nathan Bruckenthal, 24, was killed on April 25, 2004, along with two Navy sailors, while conducting maritime intercept operations in the North Arabian Gulf. He was guarding an oil platform in the Persian Gulf off the shore of Basra, Iraq, when a cargo ship began approaching. The ship blew up when Bruckenthal and others went out to intercept it. His funeral was held at Arlington National Cemetery and he was buried, at his request, in his tallit. Bruckenthal was given a Bronze Star for valor.

Bruckenthal was born on Long Island, but due to his parents' divorce, he was raised in many places around the country. He finally settled in Virginia, where he joined the ROTC in high school. He served as a volunteer fireman and joined the Coast Guard in 1998. A 1000 people attended the memorial service on Long Island a few weeks ago. Attendees included Ric Bruckenthal, Nathan's father and the police chief of Northport; Congressman Steve Israel; and Nathan Bruckenthal's pregnant wife.

Marine Cpl. Dustin Schrage, 20, of Indian Harbor, Florida, died in Iraq on May 6, 2004. While his death is still under investigation, it is believed that he drowned while swimming across a river in the Anbar province during a mission. Schrage, who had been in Iraq for a year, was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force.

Dustin Schrage was born in New York and moved to Florida when he was in elementary school. He graduated from high school in Florida. His mother, Nina, and his three siblings described Dustin to "Florida Today" newspaper as a laid-back 20-year-old who enjoyed video games, punk rock and hanging out with friends and family more than anything else.

His mother said of him: "He was all about a good time. We always thought he would be a stand-up comic." Dustin, she added, had always planned to join a SWAT team after he got out of the Corps, about a year from this summer. But more recently, he told his mother that he wanted a job that didn't require living by an alarm clock. He'd had enough of that in the military.

The Jewish War Veterans runs a program to assist Jewish service personnel in Iraq, called "Operation SOS." Friends and families writing the JWV send care packages to soldiers who identify themselves as Jewish to the JWV or are identified. Other supplies are sent to Jewish chaplains for distribution to soldiers. You can contact Operation SOS by writing Jewish War Veterans, 1811 R Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20009.

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JWR contributing Nate Bloom is editor of www.Jewhoo.com, a web site that covers famous Jews in the arts, sports, and sciences. A long planned overhaul of the site will begin in the not-too-distant future. This may include a name change.

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© 2004, Nate Bloom. A somewhat condensed version of this article was originally published in the Forward, a New York based Jewish newspaper, on May 28,2004.