MRFF supporter Rabbi Joel Schwartzman responds to Rep. Juan Vargas excluding Jewish students by scheduling “Service Academy Night” on Rosh Hashanah: “The thing I hated the most when I was a military chaplain was being excluded”

Published On: September 22, 2022|Categories: MRFF's Inbox, Top News|3 Comments|
Rabbi Joel Schwartzman

On Sep 22, 2022, at 8:49 AM, Rabbi Joel Schwartzman wrote:

Clearly Rep Vargas either wants to or doesn’t care that he is excluding Jews through his wanton act of scheduling his Service Academy Night on Rosh Hashanah.  This is not only a painful gesture to potential Jewish candidates, it is a national disgrace and a slap in the face to all Jews, indeed, all citizens, because it singles out a particular way-of-life and ignores one of its holiest days. 

It is appalling that this man serves in Congress.  His insensitivity is deserving of sanction.  His intransigence in the face of facts signifies his lack of qualification to represent all his constituents.  He deserves nothing less than the very exclusionary behavior he is demonstrating.  He ought to be removed from his seat in the House of United States R-E-P-R-E-S-E-N-T-ATIVES.

Rabbi Joel R. Schwartzman
Ch, Col, USAF (Ret)
Charlottesville, VA


On Sep 22, 2022, at 8:54 AM, Rabbi Joel Schwartzman wrote:

The thing I hated the most when I was a military chaplain was being excluded.  I didn’t have to yell or scream as some other military rabbis did…sinking their careers in the process…. I merely commented about the pain of being left out.

The act of this man is clearly more pernicious because it impacts the future of potential military officers.  The man deserves all the opprobrium we can heap on him.


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3 Comments

  1. Ha Goi October 3, 2022 at 10:39 am

    As a former Christian Chaplain, USAF, I agree wholeheartedly with you Rabbi! If the Congressman was shown his error and he refused to at least attempt to change the date, then this is beyond the pale. Todah l’sherutcha!

  2. A.L. Hern October 4, 2022 at 6:23 pm

    While this kind of insensitive scheduling seems out of character for a Democratic office-holder, what is clear that an inability to admit error knows no party or political affiliation.

    It’s not an admirable trait, and would that there were a statute that mandates that anyone found to possess said trait be ineligible to run for office.

    What’s doubly sad is that few if any constituents hold it against their elected representatives when they change a position after making an honest mistake, but too many officials flip positions only when public disapproval and media scrutiny become too embarrassing, or it’s just politically expedient.

    In the final analysis, Rep. Vargas may be thirty-six years beyond the minimum age of 25 (yes, he’s 61!) that the Constitution mandates for beaing seated in the House of Representatives, but he’s proved he has a LOT of growing up to do to be worth of the office of trust he occupies.

  3. A.L. Hern October 4, 2022 at 6:26 pm

    Make that WORTHY of the office of trust.

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