KI Honors Vets with Red, White and Blue Bash

keneseth israel logo webIt is important to honor veterans for their service. Keneseth Israel is taking it a few steps further – by focusing on Kentucky’s Jewish veterans with a bash and a book.

KI will host its first Red, White and Blue Bash on May 31 to celebrate all Kentucky Jewish veterans, said committee chair Rhonda Reskin.

“While our focus is on veterans of U.S. armed services, we want to include those who have served in other countries’ militaries, too,” she said, adding that many in our community have served in the military in Israel and other countries.

The committee has a big job between now and the Bash. It has to research the histories of Jewish military veterans in Kentucky. “We have found one Jewish war veteran who fought in the Civil War,” she said.

Speaking at the bash will be Maj. Gen. David Rubenstein, commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School and Chief of the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps; Lt. Col. Michael Steinberg of Fort Knox, distinctive faith group leader at Fort Knox; and Col. Michael Fuenfer, MD, originally from Louisville.

KI asks people in the community to submit information about their military service as well as their ancestors’. Once the research is finished and the information compiled, the committee plans to create a commemorative book celebrating Kentucky’s Jewish veterans to be given out at the Bash. Eventually, Reskin said she’d like to create a memorial.

“We really encourage people to send in names of themselves and loved ones,” Reskin said. “We’re trying to get a true history of Kentucky’s Jewish veterans.”

So far, there are about 160 names listed in the book, and they hope more information will come in. Submitters can pay to have a story and photos in the book, or the group will list names and service dates of veterans for free.

On Memorial Day, the group plans to place flags on the graves of Jewish veterans all over the area, Reskin said.

The Red, White and Blue Bash will be Sunday, May 31, at 6 p.m. Tickets are $54, and hors d’oeuvres, dinner and drinks are included. There will be a silent auction and a band, Kudmani, one of Louisville’s most popular event bands. There will also be a traveling exhibit from the National Museum of American Jewish Military History, which highlights the 15 Jewish recipients of the Medal of Honor.

If you have a family member or friend who served in the military, please send photos and information to Reskin at, or Yonatan Yussman at

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