Dallas Doings: Sandra Cantor, JWV

Sandra Cantor gets special award at JWVA and JWV convention

Congratulations to Dallasite Sandra Cantor, who just completed her term as national president of the Jewish War Veterans Auxiliary, receiving high praise for a job well done from participants during the recent virtual national convention. Among her many accolades, Cantor was presented with a very special award that was not from JWV or JWVA. This award, the Legion of Honor Bronze Medallion, was from the Chapel of the Four Chaplains Foundation, recognizing ordinary people that demonstrate selfless service to communities, schools, neighborhoods, and Veterans Service Organizations and that promote interfaith cooperation and selfless service among all people. 

The Foundation honors the Four Chaplains that went down with the Dorchester, a transport ship, moving army troops during World War II. 

Cantor shared the story of the Dorchester:

“After being torpedoed at 12:55 a.m. Feb. 3, 1943, panic and chaos set in. The blast killed and wounded many. Those sleeping were stunned by the explosion, groping around in the dark, rushing topside confronted by the Atlantic arctic air and then by the knowledge that death awaited. Through the pandemonium, according to survivor accounts, four army chaplains brought hope in the despair and light in the darkness. Those Chaplains were Lt. Alexander Goode (Jewish), Lt. George Fox (Methodist), Lt. John Washington (Catholic) and Lt. Clark Poling (Dutch Reformed). Quickly the four spread out among the soldiers, trying to calm the frightened, tend to the wounded and guide the disoriented toward lifeboats. One witness said, ‘I could hear men crying, pleading, praying and I could hear the chaplains preaching courage and their voices were the only thing that kept me going.’ Another explained he had forgotten his gloves below and was heading down to get them, Rabbi Goode stopped him and told him ‘never mind, I have two pairs.’ In retrospect, the survivor realized that Rabbi Goode had decided to go down with the Dorchester and give him his pair of gloves. 

“Another person said he witnessed an astonishing sight; when there were no more life jackets, the chaplains removed theirs, giving them to four frightened young men. Their voices could be heard offering prayers to all. As the ship went down, survivors in rafts and lifeboats could see the four chaplains — arms linked and braced against the deck singing ‘God Bless America.’ 

“Of the 902 men aboard the Dorchester, 672 died, leaving 230 survivors. When the news reached America, the nation was stunned by the tragedy yet taken by the heroic conduct of the four Chaplains. In February 1951, the Chapel of the Four Chaplains, an interfaith memorial chapel and the foundation was dedicated in Philadelphia which was attended by President Harry S. Truman.”

Bloom Post garners awards

The Dept of TALO (Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma) and Dallas JWV Post 256 were recognized with a slew of national awards at this year’s 125th Annual National Convention of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA. 

Collectively, The Harvey Bloom #256 Post swept the award categories: 

• uereisen-Rockman Award for doing the most for hospitalized veterans; 

• en Kaufman Award to Post for helping under-served veterans; 

• renner-Jaffe Award for best monthly print newsletter; 

• olfson Award for outstanding work in community building; and

• ost Improved Online Engagement Award for its Facebook page. 

The Fort Worth brothers at the Ernest Hochster Post 755 earned the Brenner-Jaffe Award for best Electronic Newsletter and the Department of TALO was honored for Small Post Growth (Fort Hood’s Post 795) and as the department with both the greatest number and highest percentage of membership in JWV’s National Museum of American Jewish Military History (NMAJMH.org).

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