UK military installs first-ever Jewish Civilian Chaplain

Rabbi Arnold Saunders will be responsible for the spiritual and pastoral care of serving Jewish personnel in all three services - army, navy and air force.

By JONNY PAUL, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT IN LONDON
September 10, 2009 11:39
1 minute read.

The British military has installed its first-ever Jewish Civilian Chaplain to the armed forces it announced on Tuesday. Rabbi Arnold Saunders will be responsible for the spiritual and pastoral care of serving Jewish personnel in all three services - army, navy and air force. The Manchester-born rabbi has served a number of communities in the northwest of England and is honorary chaplain to the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women (AJEX). He also holds a commission in the Territorial Army as an Army Cadet Force (ACF) chaplain serving Greater Manchester ACF. "On behalf of the Armed Forces Chaplaincy Policy Board I am delighted to be able to welcome Rabbi Arnold Saunders as our first Jewish Civilian Chaplain to the Military," said Stephen Robbins QHC, Chaplain General to the UK Armed Forces. "His arrival will ensure that the tri-Service chaplaincy is able to provide for the spiritual support, pastoral care and moral guidance for all servicemen and women of the Jewish faith. "Rabbi Saunders has the best wishes and prayers of the three chaplaincy departments and we look forward to working closely with him over the coming years," he added. Rabbi Saunders will have the distinction of wearing the very rare Jewish cap badge of the Royal Army Chaplains' Department, a scarce collector's item not been worn by a serving chaplain for some 40 years. Responding to his appointment Rabbi Saunders said, "I am looking forward with relish and excitement to the challenges that lie ahead and look forward to working with my fellow CCMs and all military chaplains. "I would like to pay tribute to the Reverend Malcolm Weisman who has given distinguished service as the Honorary Senior Jewish Chaplain to the Military for many years."


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