BY MIRIAM EDELSTEIN
On August 11, 2012 the Jewish War Veterans elected a new national commander. His name is Sheldon Ohren and he’s one of Rockland’s own–a resident of Monsey. Ohren is the fourth Rocklander to hold the post, the prior Rocklanders being Edwin Goldwasser, Warren Dolny and Monroe Mayer.
“The purpose of JWV is to fight anti-semitism and to show that Jews fight for the U.S. [before and now],” said Ohren, who noted that Jewish soldiers have fought for America since the Revolutionary War. The JWV also supports troops currently overseas and returned veterans.
Ohren said, “Currently JWV is currently sending packages to Afghanistan and Iraq. Members visit Castle Point and Montrose (VA hospitals) and West Point, where they sponsor a Kiddush and Oneg Shabbat. There is a baccalaureate service for Jewish cadets when they graduate and we also decorate veterans’ graves in May.”
Ohren is a life member of PFC Fred Hecht Post 245. Prior to his present position, he served his post in all capacities, including being elected commander of the Rockland/Orange District Council and representing JWV on the Rockland County Veterans’ Coordinating Council. He was elected Jr. vice commander of the Department of New York in 2008.
He is a member of the National Executive Committee, the National Court, the Convention Committee, as well as special assistant to the president of the National Museum of American Jewish Military History in Washington D.C., which exists under the auspices of the JWV.
Ohren also represents JWV at naturalization ceremonies by presenting a copy of the Bill of Rights to the new citizens. In addition, Ohren serves as a docent at Camp Shanks Museum in Orangeburg, the port of embarkation for hundreds of thousands of soldiers during World War ll.
Ohren served in the US Air Force from April 1952 until January 1956. He was an airman first class, assigned to the 6910th Security Group Headquarters in Landsberg am Lech, Germany, where he was a cryptographic communications specialist.
After leaving the service, he enrolled at New York University from which he graduated with a BS in industrial and labor relations; subsequently he finished his accounting credits at the City College if New York. In 1965 he joined the Internal Revenue Service and retired in 2000 as an appeals team chief. During that period he earned an MS degree from Pace University and taught at Long Island University.
In addition to JWV, he has been president and treasurer of B’nai B’rith Lodge for 10 years and has been a member of Congregation Shaarey Israel for the past 19 years.
He is also a charter member of the United States Holocaust Museum and a member of the Holocaust Museum and Study Center in Spring Valley, NY. He is a native of Brooklyn, is married to Judy (nee Bearman) who is a life member of the Ladies Auxilliary of Post 425. They have three children and five grandchildren.