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The Camouflage Kippa: 40th Anniversary of the 1983 Beirut Barracks Bombing

October 22, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm


Join us at the National Museum of American Jewish Military History as we remember the 40th anniversary of the tragic 1983 Beirut barracks bombing with Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff. On October 23, 1983, a suicide driver detonated two bombs at buildings in Beirut, Lebanon, housing American and French service members. 241 U.S. military personnel were killed. U.S. Navy Chaplain Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff was there and immediately began helping wounded Marines. In order to wipe away blood and dirt, Resnicoff had used his own kippa. Catholic Chaplain Father George Pucciarelli, seeing Rabbi Resnicoff without his head covered, tore off the top piece of his Marine camouflage cap, and brought it over to Resnicoff to wear. This spirit of interfaith cooperation is at the foundation of the military chaplaincy and it continues to inspire Rabbi Resnicoff. His report of the attack and its aftermath, written at the request of the White House, was read as a keynote speech by President Ronald Reagan. Rabbi Resnicoff is a retired U.S. Navy Chaplain, former National Director of Interreligious Affairs for the American Jewish Committee, and former Special Assistant to the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force for Values and Vision. His Naval career started in the rivers of Vietnam followed by Naval Intelligence in Europe before rabbinical school and ordination. He was part of the small group of Vietnam veterans that worked to create the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and convinced the US military to participate in the US Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust. He was the first chaplain to teach a course at a U.S. military war college: “Faith and Force: Religion, War, and Peace,” at the Naval War College, in Newport, RI. Howard Mortman is the author of When Rabbi Bless Congress. He is communications director for C-SPAN, the public service providing television coverage of the U.S. Congress. A veteran of Washington, DC, media organizations, he has observed Congress from positions at MSNBC, National Journal’s Hotline, Broadcasting Board of Governors, and New Media Strategies.

Event Details

Host: National Museum of American Jewish Military History
Date: October 22, 2023 • 2 – 3:30PM
Location: 1811 R St NW Washington, DC 20009
Event fee: Free
Registration Event link:

For More Information

Contact: Michael Rugel
Phone: 202-265-6280


October 22, 2023
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm


National Museum of American Jewish Military History
1811 R St NW
Washington, DC 20009 United States
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