August 13, 2019
P.O. Box 802, Levittown, PA 19058
Phone: 267-573-9697
Email: jewishvetspost697@gmail.com

About Levittown’s Post 697

 

Fegelson-Young–Feinberg Post 697
Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A.
P.O. 802 Levittown, PA 19058
Email: jewishvetspost697@gmail.com
Website: jewishvetspost697.jwv.org 267-573-9697

Subject: History of the Fegelson–Young–Feinberg Jewish War Veterans Post 697

The Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A. is the oldest veteran’s organization in the United States. It was organized in 1896.
In 1955, Levittown, Pennsylvania became one of the prime communities for Americans to live the American dream. It was the same year that many of those who had played such a powerful role in providing Americans the opportunity to live out the dream, formed and chartered the Jewish War Veterans Post 697. In time the post took on the names of three of its original members: Jules Fegelson, Reuben Young and Ray Feinberg.
Fegelson-Young-Feinberg Post 697, with its Ladies Auxiliary (a philanthropic and humanitarian organization), were originally created as a home for Jewish war veterans to gather and continue the camaraderie forged in combat and sacrifice. The number one purpose was to make sure their brothers and sisters in arms, no matter their affliction, were never left behind. Almost instantaneously, Post 697 became a hotbed for community service.
Watching veterans’ posts like Post 697 participate in Memorial Day observances, 4th of July parades, and Veterans Day programs may be where the public notices our veteran groups. In fact, it became our honor to present the flag colors at the annual Holocaust Memorial Ceremony at 16th and Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia where the Holocaust Memorial statue is located. But the Fegelson-Young-Feinberg Post 697’s very real impact comes from working tirelessly to help all those in need.
We helped open the Delaware Valley Veterans Home in Northeast Philadelphia. We help the vets residing there in many ways and provide many needed services for the residents. In addition to aiding homeless vets in Bucks County, we continue to support the Veterans Comfort House in Philadelphia where homeless vets receive assistance. It is also where vets and their families can stay while their veteran is receiving outpatient treatment at the VA hospital.
Of our many efforts, one of which we are most proud of is our nationally and internationally acclaimed Holocaust Remembrance Education Program. Initiated in 1995 by displaying Holocaust information in local shopping malls, it has evolved into a completely cost-free all year-round multimedia program. Presentations are made to public, private and parochial schools, institutions of higher learning, over 55+ Retirement Communities, Libraries, Municipal Park Districts programs, houses of worship and other organizations throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and northern Delaware.

The purpose of the program is to educate children and adults about what really happened in Europe during the Holocaust and teaching Diversity, Tolerance, Anti-Bullying and the underlying message is not to hate. There are first-hand presentations from Holocaust survivors and veterans who were part of the camp liberations. The presenters receive a memorable and enthusiastic response from all the participants. Children and adults make clear that these programs are powerful and profound reminders of events that humankind should learn from and never forget – and not only in America. As expressed by one student: “Anyone can go to a Holocaust museum, see a movie or read a book, but not everyone gets this face to face experience”.

In order to achieve that goal, our Holocaust Remembrance Education Program had been filmed by TV3 from Barcelona Spain and has been broadcast there. The Post has participated in a workshop entitled “Holocaust Education” organized by the United Nations Department of Public Information at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. As noted, the Post is a participant and co-sponsor of: Philadelphia Holocaust Memorial at 17th and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Gratz College’s Holocaust Teach-In, Life in a Jar – Irena Sendler Project held at the National Museum of American Jewish History, Scholars’ Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches at Temple University, Stockton University’s Holocaust and Human Behavior and a member of the Consortium of Holocaust Educators of Greater Philadelphia.

We’ve been interviewed several times on the Levittown/Princeton Radio Station WBCB’s award-winning show “Speak Your Piece”. This program has been seen on ABC, CBS and NBC and even streamed live on the Pennridge Public Network. Some of the print publications in which our program has been highlighted are: Bucks County Courier Times, Bucks County Herald, Philadelphia Inquirer, Jewish Exponent, Midweek Wire, Centurion of BCCC, Philadelphia Jewish Voice plus many others.

Post 697 is also a proud participant and co-sponsor of the Philadelphia Honor Flight and the Bucks County Flight of Honor program. Through these two organizations, veterans are driven by bus with a motorcycle escort down to Washington D.C. for very special ceremonies. We among many others, are also a participant and co-sponsor of the Anti-Defamation League’s Walk Against Hate program. Our post has participated in the Tour de Shuls bike-a-thon fundraiser benefitting Camp Ramah in the Poconos. We have also been honored with a flag ceremony for the Philadelphia 76ers.

The participation in Post 697’s Holocaust Remembrance Education Program may help organizations reach the goal of Holocaust Education as per the new Pennsylvania legislation Act 70 of 2014. Our Post was represented when it was signed by Governor Corbett. The New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education endorses and supports our program for use in the NJ schools to assist in meeting the mandate that all students must learn about the Holocaust and Genocide. During this past year program alone, over 10,000 people have participated in this memorable experience.
Our post is also a staunch supporter of the National Museum of American Jewish Military History in Washington, D.C. We keep our members fully aware of our nation’s heritage as we sponsored trips to West Point, Gettysburg, Annapolis, the National Holocaust Museum, the World War II Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, and the Arlington National Cemetery. In Arlington, we were delighted to witness the unveiling of the Jewish Chaplains Memorial.
Our ongoing programs include: Essay Competitions, scholarships for descendants of JWV members, providing Veterans Service Officers who represent veterans and their families before the Department of Veterans Affairs, membership life and health insurance coverage, prescription program and audiovisual library resources. We regularly provide programs benefitting “challenged adult clients” and their care providers. The JWV disaster relief fund also provides care packages to service personnel and a host of other programs that make a difference for veterans and the lives of others.