Rabbi Lapp’s Farewell Message

As reported back in June, there was a change of command at the JWB this month. Below is Rabbi Lapp’s farewell message:

This will be my final message to you as your JWB Director. If there ever was a definition of ‘mixed emotions’, the ones I am experiencing now certainly qualify. On the one hand, to leave a position which I have grown to love and enjoy and that I find challenging and rewarding is sad yet, at the same time, leaving is a source of happiness for my family and me.

One of the most difficult things for me has been to say farewell – Shalom to friends and colleagues I’ve known for 25 years in the military and now at JCC Association -JWB. We have had many outstanding times together as I have traveled far on my JWB Chaplaincy journey for these past 25 years. We have worked together to bring Torah – Yiddishkeit to men and women serving in the US Armed Forces and VA hospitals. We all did a very good job – Tov M’od.

It has been a blessing for me, over these past years, to discuss, mentor or support Chaplains and Lay Leaders, in your ministry to G-d and country. We worked together out of love and respect for each other and a sense of mission. We may have had some differences in the way we operated programs or religious services in the field, on military installations or in combat situations, but these differences pale in significance when we look at the big picture.

I will miss all of you; the Military and VA Chaplains, Lay Leaders, JWB Jewish

Chaplains Council, JCC Association staff, my dear friend and colleague, Rabbi Nathan Landman. I have enjoyed working together with all of you, L’Shem Shomayim. I appreciate from the heart, your kindness and assistance, counsel and helping me fulfill my responsibilities.

The help and understanding, the kindness and collegiality I received from Chiefs of the Army, Air Force, Navy, VA Chiefs of Chaplains, made my life sweet, a blessing and G-d-sent experience that I shall never forget. I look at the leadership of JCC Association under Allan Finkelstein, President and Alan Mann, Executive Vice President, JCC and Community Services, as having strong hands in the success of JWB’s Chaplaincy program. Rabbi Nate Landman was my right hand man and supporter even though he was here part time. There are many more of you that made this office function on a path of success. and that I would have to include in giving thanks Hakoras Hatov for all I have achieved. (I will not use names in fear of omitting someone.)

Each one of you touched my life and for that I am blessed. I will treasure these twenty-five years as the Director of JWB Jewish Chaplains Council. I pray that I have been of service to you as you certainly have been to me. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve Hashem, you and to bring your message as a Shliach Zibbur.

Rabbi Harold Robinson will be the new Director of JWB as of September 1. He is a Navy Chaplain, Rabbi, Admiral. who is multi-talented and an outstanding administrator. He brings to JWB Jewish Chaplains Council many years of experience, both as a rabbi and a military chaplain.

I have confidence that you will support him in the same manner you supported me. Under his leadership, I pray that JWB will continue to have Mazal and success in supporting the men and women, chaplains and lay leaders in the Armed Forces and VA in the coming years.

I wish all of you a happy, healthy and meaningful New Year 5767.