On 3/23/22, Hunter hosted this program as part of the Robert Seltzer Lunch Lecture Series.
The onset of World War Two inspired hundreds of rabbis from Reform, Conservative and Centrist Orthodox backgrounds to leave civilian life for the sake of serving over a half-million American Jews then serving in the US armed forces. Although there was no central Jewish religious authority over the practice of Judaism in civilian life, the US government nonetheless obligated American rabbis to formulate a generalized practice of Judaism—including eating kosher—for Jews in the armed forces. Despite genuine and profound differences over ideology and ritual practice, Jewish chaplains of all denominations worked assiduously to provide kosher foodstuffs to Jews then served in the military. This effort necessitated compromise, adaptation, and improvisation among ideologically diverse rabbis. The kashrut mission was illustrative of the diversity of American Judaism of the WW II era and arguably represents the zenith of pan-denominational cooperation.
Watch the program below.