Iraq Based Hanukkah A Creative Event

Celebration Festive For Servicemember At Several Sites There are a lot of cultural differences for U.S. Forces serving overseas in Iraq.  And it is not just the religious and cultural differences that are different; it’s the little things. Such as finding that the Base Dining Facility does not stock kosher sour cream, required for any decent batch of potato latkes worth consuming. Celebrating Hanukkah is a challenge when celebrating “downrange” in an area that is made up of a majority by Muslim citizens.  It’s the little things that are a challenge.  While celebration of Hanukkah overseas do not attain the same intensity as Stateside, Jewish Servicemembers and others paused Tuesday evening to celebrate the First of the Eight Nights of Hanukkah. Chaplain Captain David Goldstrom is a rabbi with Camp Taji in Iraq.  He led about fifty Servicemembers in a Tuesday Evening Service.   Captain Goldstrom is one of three Jewish Chaplains Tending to U.S. Troops in Iraq. Captain Andrew Shulman is another of the Chaplains in Iraq, is also one of the other Jewish rabbi’s tending to the religious needs of troops in the Baghdad arena.  Chaplain Shulman performed services at Camp Striker, which is also located in Baghdad. Until recently Captain Shulman was the only chaplain in Iraq serving Jewish Servicemembers.  There are an estimated one hundred sixty thousand U.S. Forces based currently in Iraq. During this Hanukkah celebration Captain Shulman will be taking to the road to take services to soldiers in the field at Mahmudiyah, and in the Green Zone.  Other Soldiers from Camp Liberty, Camp Slayer, Forward Base Hammer, and others will have an opportunity to participate in services held at Camp Striker.

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