[by Phyllis Shaikun]
For the first time in close to 20 years, Fort Knox has welcomed a rabbi on staff to serve as chaplain, where he will conduct religious services and holiday celebrations and provide a stable Jewish presence for personnel stationed there. Rabbi Daniel Goldman began his tenure at the base on Tuesday, August 16.
A Chicago native, Rabbi Goldman attended Loyola University and earned a master’s degree in sociology from the New School for Social Research. In June 2007, he got married and was ordained by the Pirchei Shoshanim Rabbinical School in 2008. He joined the army in 2009 and trained at Ft. Jackson, MS.
Rabbi Goldman has been busy sending emails announcing that he is officially on duty and is planning to conduct services on Shabbat. He also is making plans for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur observances.
The base lacks a kosher kitchen, so he is also working on establishing one so he can host weekly Shabbat dinners.
Although Orthodox in practice, the rabbi wants to coordinate religious services so they are comfortable for everyone. “I would like to at least have a minyan on Friday nights,” he says, “so we need to have a service that will incorporate a mix of English and Hebrew.”
Rabbi Goldman believes there currently are some 30 Jewish personnel stationed at Fort Knox. He would welcome program ideas and is interested in organizing activities for both men and women as a way to promote a feeling of fellowship.
Coordinating joint activities with the Louisville Jewish community could also be on the horizon. He also invites members of the Louisville Jewish community to come to Ft. Knox to help complete the minyan for Shabbat and the High Holy Days. Contact him at email@example.com
Meanwhile, Rabbi Goldman and his wife, Michall, are settling in with their daughters, Penina Malka, who is almost three and one-year-old Dina Bracha. They will be at the base for at least one year.