Civil Air Patrol Chaplain Diversity Initiative Kicks Off To Better Serve Member Needs
Mill Valley, CA. (May 13, 2023) – Civil Air Patrol (CAP) California Wing is leading an effort to better support all members in their moral and spiritual welfare, and better provide guidance on CAP’s core values to them by focusing on recruiting additional chaplains, especially from underrepresented groups. Starting off this effort are a series of visits by National Headquarters Recruiter for Jewish Affairs, CAP Chaplain (Maj.) Dovid Grossman accompanied by Pacific Coast Region Chaplain (Maj.) Michael Morison and California Wing Chaplain (Maj.) Annamae Taubeneck.
Chaplain (Maj.) Taubeneck spearheaded the campaign in her desire to grow the California Wing Chaplain Corps to better support and represent the diversity of the membership. In particular, she identified that female chaplains and several faiths, such as Judaism were areas needing more representation. “Civil Air Patrol is a pluralistic, diverse community and together we are one Civil Air Patrol united by our mission and values.” Said Chaplain Taubeneck, noting that she wanted to “make our Chaplain Corps as diverse as our membership!”
Together with Chaplain Morison, who wholeheartedly supports these efforts, they reached out to Civil Air Patrol’s National Chaplain of the Year, Chaplain Grossman, who in addition to being the Illinois Wing Chaplain, also directs the Institute of Jewish Chaplaincy, serving Jewish American Veterans across the nation. “Jews have proudly served in the American military since the original 13 colonies.” noted Chaplain Grossman
Chaplain Grossman came to California and together with Chaplain Taubeneck and Chaplain Morison embarked on a week long tour throughout California visiting and speaking to the Jewish community. Members of the public, religious leaders, Jewish War Veterans (JWV) members, and CAP members were all invited and the response has been very positive. "We all have community service and service above self in common." Remarked Chaplain Grossman. Indeed, conversations ranged to many topics and the atmosphere has been very harmonious. Rabbi Hillel of Mill Valley, California even brought up some similarities of tools for youth development such as the books and rank award coins for “Tzivos Hashem” a children’s “Army of G-d” which also carry a concept of rank and medals earned for achievement and growth.
During Chaplain Grossman’s visits, attendees all engaged and the experience was positive for adults and youth alike, including for CAP cadets who attended. "What a thrill to share stories and have conversations with young Civil Air Patrol Cadets as well as older Jewish War Veterans together." Noted Chaplain Grossman. One of the CAP cadets who attended a gathering, Jon E Kramer Composite Squadron 10 in Palo Alto, California’s Cadet Senior Airman Noam Morris, said the meeting was eye opening about CAP Chaplains in general, and it made him realize that “CAP Chaplain Corps is there for everyone, and really made me feel they are there for me if I ever felt the need to reach out.” The synergy extended from membership to leadership of all groups. For example, the JWV national commander supported this effort by sending an email inviting their members to please come join the meetings and support CAP’s efforts, and they definitely responded, which brought more people to each meeting.
The Chaplain Corps is an essential part of CAP’s missions of emergency services, cadet programs, and aerospace education. They watch out for the well being of every member, and serve as a moral and ethical thermostat, keeping the commanders apprised of any issues or concerns. They provide counsel and caring regardless of a person’s faith, and are trained to help for everything from religious services to crisis response. Joining this very important group includes not only all the requirements for CAP senior membership, but also to be a fully ordained or qualified religious professional of their faith group among other training and education.
Top Row Left to Right:
Rabbi Laivy Mochkin, Max Cheslow, Cadet Senior Airman Noam Morris, CAWG Group 2 squadron 10, Robin Morris (father of C/SrA Morris), Lt. Col. Steve Dolgin,CAWG, Rachel Raphaelsohn, Stella Filler, Ilya Ravkin, Yigal, Rabbi Zalman Levin
Bottom Row Left to Right:
Chaplain (Maj.) Dovid Grossman, Illinois Wing, Shmuel Raphaelsohn, Philip Hammer, Vic Filler, Chaplain (Maj.) Annamae Taubeneck, CAWG
Photo Credit: Chaplain (Maj.) Michael Morison, PCR.
About Civil Air Patrol
Founded in 1941 and established as the official civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force seven years later, Civil Air Patrol is chartered by Congress as a nonprofit organization for the purposes of youth development, aerospace education, and to promote general aviation. In an auxiliary role as a Total Force partner of the Air Force, CAP operates the world’s largest fleet of single-engine aircraft for search and rescue, disaster relief, training, and education. Civil Air Patrol is dedicated to serving America’s communities, saving lives, and shaping futures.
For More Information:
1st Lt. Kai Chen
Mobile: 1+ 408-829-3996