Jewish Soldiers To Be Awarded Belated Medal of Honor

Anti-Semitism Robbed Troops of Honors in Past

By JTA

Published February 23, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

President Obama will award the Medal of Honor to 24 American troops, most of whom had been overlooked because of anti-Jewish or anti-Hispanic prejudice.

The White House said in a statement issued on Friday that the medals to be awarded March 18 are the result of a review mandated by a law passed in 2002 by Congress based on reports that some troops had been denied the nation’s highest military honor because of prejudice.

In the course of the review, the statement said, it was found that several soldiers not of Jewish or Hispanic descent also had been denied the medal, and that they too would be honored.

Three soldiers will receive the award in person; the remainder will be awarded posthumously to men who fought in the Vietnam and Korean wars and in World War II.

The White House did not identify which of the awardees were Jewish or Hispanic or neither.

Two Florida lawmakers, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) noted in separate statements that one of the awardees is Pvt. 1st Class Leonard Kravitz who died fending off Communist forces on March 6 and 7, 1951 near Yangpyong in Korea. He faced an ambush with a machine gun so his fellow troops could evacuate.

Mitchel Libman, a resident of Hollywood Fla., and a childhood friend of Kravitz’s had championed his cause. Kravitz is the namesake of his nephew, the musician Lenny Kravitz.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.