YPS honors its vets in its 65th year

YPS honors its vets in its 65th year

Young People’s Synagogue honored its veterans on Saturday, Sept. 10, during Shabbat service.
World War II veterans, and civilians in a wartime role, were among the founders of the lay-led congregation, which is marking its 65th anniversary this year.
Twenty-five veterans were among the founders. Twelve are still alive, of whom 10 were present at Saturday’s service. In addition, members of YPS families who currently or recently served in the armed forces of the United States and Israel also were honored.
Among the World War II veterans honored were two chemists who worked on the Manhattan Project, two members of Army Intelligence (one of whom was a member of the famous Ritchie Boy, named for Camp Ritchie, Md., where they served) and a fighter in the Polish resistance.
They also included women as well as men, a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross and a survivor of the Battle for the Philippines.
The 12 surviving veterans are Moshe Baran, Larry Epstein, Leonard Greenwald, David Handler, Bernard Klionsky, Charlotte Love, George Plutchok, Jerry Rosenberg, Frank Sadofsky, Kurt Schreiber, Robert Sheer and Seymour Solomon.
The deceased veterans are Albert Bloom, Robert Eisner, Herman Engelberg, Fred Forscher, Anna Goldman, Sidney Jacobson, Sol Levin, Milton Linder, Hershel Markovitz, Norton Rapoport, Joe Singer, Stanley Snyder and Morris Whitman.
Rosenberg and Markovitz were the Manhattan Project chemists.
Schreiber, a staff sergeant, was among the Ritchie Boys — refugees from Nazi Germany, knowledgeable of the psychology and language of the enemy, who were trained in intelligence and psychological warfare. Their experiences were turned into a movie.
Baran served as a resistance fighter from 1942 to 1944, liberating Jews held captive by the Germans or their allies in Poland and Belarus.
Franklin Toker, a YPS member since 1974, said the congregation chose the just-past Shabbat for the special service for good reason.
“It [was] Parsha Ki Tetze,[which] begins with the command for military service in the Torah,” he said.
Founded in Pittsburgh in 1946 by Zionists (hence its Hebrew name, Bohnai Yisrael [Builders of Israel]), Young People’s Synagogue is historically a congregation with no professional staff at all. The members do everything to sustain the congregation and lead services.