Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

JWV Applauds Signing of National Service Act for Which JWV Has Long Advocated

April 2009

The Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV), which has long advocated the need for a national service program, heartily supports the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which was just signed into law. Although this program is limited in its scope, it goes a long way to producing a program for which the JWV has long fought.

The JWV called for the establishment of a Mandatory National Service Plan at its 1993 National Convention that called for all youth to participate in a nationwide program of citizen involvement in the perpetuation of our way of life.

As PNC Robert M. Zweiman, Chairman of the JWV Coordinating Board, wrote again in February 2006:

"A National Service Plan allows for a selection by the youths in determining where they are to fit into all types of the numerous and varied fields, such as military, community work, hospital and health care, law enforcement, in multi-faceted civilian positions having different characteristics and environments, etc. All of the choices will probably answer in their having prior training with hands-on service when the need presents itself

The initial schooling, training and actual performance would be budgeted by the National Service Plan for stated periods of one to two years. With such training in place, students will have obtained adult pre-school direction and training in what they might consider for their life work or for their next educational upgrade. All of this would provide for a non-frightened nation prepared to meet all comers and all competitors."

The recently signed bill triples the size of the AmericCorps service program over the next eight years and provides opportunities for students to earn money for college through opportunities to serve their country in such areas as helping the poor, improving education, encouraging energy efficiency, strengthening access to health care and assisting veterans.

The JWV, long an advocate for such a program, agrees with the President that through this legislation the lives of those who participate will be richer, and the country will be stronger, truly bi-partisan goals. The JWV hopes that this bill will be a springboard to its ultimate goal of a full live program.


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