From Temple Member Jesse J. Smith:
www.mitzvahsforvets.com is a website that was created by Jackie Gage in honor of her significant other Roger who died at the VA Hospital in Battle Creek. It was her observation that during Hanukkah there was nothing for the Jewish Veterans to celebrate but there were plenty of Christmas carols being sung and Christmas trees.
She contacted the Chaplain at the VA (Chaplain Porter) who in turn contacted the Jewish War Veterans who then contacted me, as I am their representative at the VA in Battle Creek. I met with Chaplain Porter, who advised me that he maintains a “nonsectarian” chapel and the Christmas Trees were from the Volunteer Department, without any religion content in mind but to add to the festive occasion. Having discussed the issue with Jackie the website was developed.
We, as Jews, often go into a hospital where the religious preference is not of our own and we mesh into the background, not wanting to upset the apple cart, so to speak.
We started this website to obtain donations for the Veterans so that we might be able to purchase items for the Jewish Veterans during their stay at the Battle Creek VA Hospital. We are under the 501 (tax deductible) of the Jewish War Veterans on donations.
We don’t want to have our Jewish Veterans think they are forgotten but are a valued people!
Jesse J. Smith, JWV Representative, Battle Creek VA Hospital
“Death is not when you die, but when you stop living!”