Purim Package from Operation Hamantashen

April 7, 2014

Other News

Greetings from waters near South-East Asia!

From the bottom of my heart and the bottom of Combat Logistic Battalion-31 bellies, we thank you and your corps of volunteers for the delicious hamentaschen. As the Jewish chaplain embarked on the USS Ashland (LSD-48) with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit/Amphibious Readiness Group 11, my Jewish Marines and Sailors often feel isolated from home Jewish communities; even when we return to homeports (Sasebo and Okinawa, Japan), we are not in central hubs of Jewish community. We are incredibly grateful to you for organizing this event. To be remembered during Purim brought incredible joy to our little group.

As a chaplain for all sorts of Marines from different backgrounds, I can tell you that your gift was appreciated by others, as well. Hamentaschen make an outstanding icebreaker for talking about different religious foods and practice. Breaking religious barriers, I am happy to report that while writing this I heard a non-Jewish Marine call down a passageway, screaming “I LOVE JEWISH COOKIES.” It is a proven fact: Hamentaschen make people smile and bring together people of all religions.

Please forgive the delay in our gratitude. While we are forward deployed in the Western Pacific, things get to us a little slower than ideal (the hamentaschen were still delicious). Thank you so very much.

On a personal note: as a camper for countless Camp JCC Summers, a former pre-schooler in the Shalom Children’s Center, an alumnus of the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater (1997), the son of a former teacher at the Hebrew Academy (Jay Warren, Middle School Science), and a former lifeguard at the pool in both Norfolk and Virginia Beach, seeing a package from the Simon Family Jewish Community Center was exactly the thing I needed to make it feel like a proper holiday season and connected to home.

Thank you!

Shalom and Semper Fidelis,
Very respectfully yours,
Rabbi Yoni Warren
Ch. Yonatan M. Warren
LT, CHC, USN
Battalion Chaplain, CLB-31, 31st MEU
Embarked on USS Ashland (LSD-48)

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