/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
Minnesota National Guard
Beth El Synagogue supports those who serve through 'Heroes Among Us' initiative

Taya Kyle SAINT LOUIS PARK, Minn- It is 7 pm Sunday at Beth El Synagogue, there are over 1,200 people in attendance to hear Taya Kyle speak about her life as a military wife and widow, and about her famous husband, "American Sniper" Chris Kyle

This standing-room only event is part of Beth El's four-year-old initiative to support the Minnesota National Guard and to bring awareness of the military to the greater community

At the head of this movement is Rabbi Avi Olitzky, one of two full-time Rabbis at Beth El Rabbi Olitzky has his own ties with the military having served with the Navy as a Chaplain Candidate Program Officer before resigning his commission in 2011 Rabbi Olitzky sees supporting those who serve as a "religious duty and a categorical moral imperitive" So when he saw members of his congregation Gil Mann, Rachel Parnes and others preparing a service project to support the troops of the Minnesota National Guard, it wasn't long before he was fully invested himself

Beth El Synagogue has been fostering units from the MN National Guard since 2011, starting with the Agribuisness Development Team that deployed to Zabul province in Afghanistan under the command of Colonel Eric Ahlness Currently Beth El fosters three units, the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade, the 2-147th Assault Helicopter Battalion and the 204th Area Medical Support Company With this increased number of units comes a greater price tag to support

It is often said that necessity is the mother of invention, and in this case the increased need of these support initiatives brought forth the Heroes Among Us speaker series at Beth El The series, now in its third year, has made it possible for Beth El to fund the initiative, expand its support and increase community awareness of military life

Taya Kyle spoke on Sunday in the third installment of this successful speaker series She represented the heroes left behind as Service men and women deploy, she represented the heroism of military families She was articulate, vulnerable and powerful with her words She brought home to all in the audience what it means to be a military spouse- the pride, the fear and the heartache She shared what it means to "show up" and to "bring your gift" and what that can mean to those who receive it

Previous speakers include former CIA officer Tony Mendez and merchant mariner Captain Richard Phillips Rabbi Olitzky says he is already planning for next year's event and looking for the right opportunity to continue the message "This year will be hard to top, but we have a few ideas"

Rabbi Olitzky is committed to making a difference Beth El Synagogue has made an impact in the lives of Service members and their families as well as how the community understands the military "All members of the military - seaman to admiral, private to general- are heroes in my book I say that of those committed to civil service as well Those who serve to protect our freedom to benot only freedom to worship, but freedom to be," said Rabbi Olitzky

This is why the congregation of Beth El synagogue looks forward to the third Sunday of each month, when you'll find them working hard preparing packages to send to Service members protecting our country They are doing their part to serve those who serve them, the "Heroes Among Us"

February 12, 2015
by Maj Scott Hawks
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs

Download photos

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.

Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.

Minnesota Guardsman Receives Award for Combating Drugs in his Community

Posted: 2018-03-09  03:13 PM
Counterdrug WOODBURY, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Benjamin Kroll, an analyst with the Minnesota National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force who is assigned to work with the Hennepin County Sherriff's Office was recognized for his achievements as the Analyst of the Year during the 2018 Minnesota Association of Crime and Intelligence Analysts Training Symposium in Woodbury, Minnesota, March 7, 2018.

Through a partnership with Minnesota law enforcement agencies throughout the state, the Minnesota National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (MNCDTF) supports the anti-drug initiatives to counter all primary drug threats and vulnerabilities through the effective application of available assets, said Maj. Jon Dotterer, Counterdrug Coordinator for the State of Minnesota. The goal for the program is to support federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in the detection, disruption, interdiction, and curtailment of illicit drugs.

Kroll is one of sixteen service members on the Counterdrug Task Force that provides this force-multiplying service to our communities against illicit drug-use. With the information that law enforcement provide through their patrols and daily operations, Kroll and his colleagues across the state assist by putting together a figurative picture with all of the gathered information which aids in identifying how to move forward with legal action to deter or prevent the sale or use of illegal narcotic drugs.

Women Opened Doors in Minnesota National Guard

Posted: 2018-03-08  09:05 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - "The battlefront is no place for women to be," said Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Kurtzweg, 125th Field Artillery, in an article published in 1976. "There are certain jobs girls say they can do, but they just can't do ... the battlefront is no place for women to be. Other countries in the world use women in combat, but the U.S. has not come around to that way of thinking." Kathy Berg, a New Ulm reporter summarized at the time. "So women in the New Ulm unit take care of personnel files and pay records and leave the fighting to the men."

The Minnesota National Guard has "come around to that way of thinking" since those early days of gender integration. In the last 44 years women have made momentous strides toward inclusion and acceptance. Their accomplishments are testimony to their fortitude and the progressive development of the Minnesota National Guard.

When an accomplished female Soldier is credited with breaking barriers she will often pass that honor to the women that preceded her. Brig. Gen. Johanna Clyborne is such a leader. She acknowledges that she is one of the first females in the Minnesota National Guard who has held key leadership roles, however she sees it differently. "I feel responsible for all women in uniform," said Clyborne. "Women before me opened the door, now I've cleared the room. It's up to the women behind me to hold the room."

Article archive