Finally, after more than four decades of women serving as military chaplains, the United States Air Force has a female rabbi as part of its team.
Captain Sarah Schechter was recently named as the Jewish chaplain of the 11th Wing at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, according to the American military website, military.com.
And it would seem that Schechter’s new and unprecedented role was beshert (ordained), as her father – a rabbi – was an Air Force chaplain in 1960.
Schechter, who hails from Greenwich Village, New York, told military.com that she decided to enlist in the military because of the attacks of 9/11 during which approximately 3,000 innocent Americans working in New York’s World Trade Center were killed in terror attacks. During that year, Schechter was in her fourth year of rabbinical school.
“I’m an officer, I’m a rabbi, and I want to do my best to represent the military and Judaism in the best light possible.
"I’m grateful to the women in the chaplaincy who preceded me because I truly stand on the shoulder of giants,” she said.
Reprinted with permission from Shalom Life