Washington's Jewish heritage.

Author:Bergen, Les
Position:THE CONVERSATION - Letter to the editor


Thank you for your section on the Jewish community of Washington, DC. ("Jewish Routes: Washington, DC," May/June 2013). One minor correction: Until about five years ago, we knew that about 2,000 Jews were buried at Arlington National Cemetery, as you reported. Since then, the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington has walked the rows looking for Magen David symbols and other evidence. As of December 2012, they have identified 5,450 Jews at Arlington, with more burials since. And since headstones before 1918 had only a U.S. shield but no religious symbol, burials from 1864 until then can only be identified as Jewish if the individual was listed in books or other sources.

Les Bergen

Arlington, VA


I found the stories of notable Washingtonians to be very interesting, but when I read the one about Debra Lerner Cohen, a glaring error immediately caught my attention. The Washington Senators, which was my favorite baseball team, broke my heart when they moved to Minnesota after the 1960 season (not 1971!), and then did it again when Bob Short, who was from Minnesota and was the then-owner of the "new" Senators, moved the team after the 1971 season to Texas, where they have since been the Texas Rangers. It took too many years for Washington to get a baseball team, but since the Expos moved here and became the Nationals, it has been wonderful. The Lerner family has done a great job putting together a first-class organization and I wish them and the team much success. Go Nats!

Steve Elman

Bethesda, MD


Two additional Jewish Washingtonians were worthy of mention. Both made singular contributions to America. Leopold Karpeles (1838-1909) was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery as Color Sergeant--drawing fire as flag carrier of the 57th Massachusetts Regiment--during the May 1864 Wilderness Campaign in the Virginia woodlands, considered a...

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