About JWB Jewish Chaplains Council
Founded in 1917 as the Chaplains’ Committee of the JWB, renamed the Committee for Army and Navy Religious Affairs (CANRA) during World War II, and later retitled the Commission on Jewish Chaplaincy, this agency served as the sole endorsing body for Jewish chaplains in the military and VA chaplaincy services until recently.
Following a reorganization in June 1986, the Jewish Welfare Board Chaplains Council currently consists of 16 rabbis, four each from the Central Conference of American Rabbis (Reform), the Rabbinical Assembly (Conservative), and the Rabbinical Council of America (Orthodox), plus four active-duty Jewish chaplains representing the Chaplains Advisory Group (CAG). The Chaplains Council provides full support services to Jewish chaplains, and administers ecclesiastical approval for chaplain candidates and Jewish lay leaders in the military.
Today, the Jewish Welfare Board is a government accredited agency providing for the religious, educational, and morale needs of Jewish military personnel, their families, and patients in Veterans Affairs hospitals. The JWB’s ongoing work includes maintaining liaison with the offices of the respective Chiefs of Chaplains; publications; program development; provision of religious supplies not available through military channels, recruiting, retention, and training of chaplains and lay leaders, and advice and counsel to the military and VA Jewish community.