Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff

Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff is a consultant on interfaith values and interreligious affairs, a retired Navy chaplain, a former National Director of Interreligious Affairs for The American Jewish Committee, and a former Special Assistant (Values and Vision) to the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air force, a position which carried with it the equivalent military rank of Brigadier General.

His military career began as a line officer in the rivers of the Mekong Delta and assignments with Naval Intelligence in Europe, before he left the Navy to attend the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was ordained. Returning to the Navy as a chaplain following ordination, his 25 years in the Chaplain Corps included the assignment as Command Chaplain for the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM). In that role, he served as principal advisor on religion, ethics, and morals to the USEUCOM Commander in Chief, General Wesley K. Clark; coordinated religious support for more than 100,000 U.S. military personnel and families, and served as liaison to chaplaincies and militaries throughout the USEUCOM area of responsibility: 83 nations covering 13 million square miles.

In October 1983, Rabbi Resnicoff was present in Beirut, Lebanon, during the suicide attack that took the lives of 241 service members. His report, written at White House request, was read by President Ronald Reagan as the keynote address for the “Baptist Fundamentalist ’84” convention, led by the Rev. Jerry Falwell.

He was the driving force in the Department of Defense decision to take part in the U.S. National Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust, and the Navy representative to the committee that created the DOD Resource guide. He was sent to Iceland to lead Yom Kippur services during the historic US-USSR pre-summit meetings, and was part of the small group of Vietnam veterans who worked to create the Vietnam Veterans memorial, delivering the closing prayer at its 1982 dedication. In 2003, he coordinated and participated in a congressional visit to South Africa to draw lessons from the anti-apartheid and civil rights efforts in our two nations. In support of military and humanitarian operations in the Balkans, he worked with U.S. and NATO troops, civilian relief workers, political and military leaders, religious representatives, and refugees. His many other historic achievements include his leading the first interfaith (and mixed sex) service at Israel’s Western Wall; the first official ceremony in Israel (held at the President’s residence) in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and the first official U.S. Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony onboard a U.S. Navy ship.

Two of his prayers are included in “The Treasury of American Prayer” (Doubleday, 2008), and in 2010 he delivered the opening prayer for the official Presidential signing of the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

His many civilian honors include the Chapel of Four Chaplains Hall of Heroes Gold Medallion for his work with the wounded and dying in Beirut, and the Moment Magazine international Community Service Award.
He has written numerous articles including “Prayers that Hurt,” an article on interfaith prayer used extensively in civilian and military training programs, and a series of articles on Jewish Holy Days published in “Church-Teachers Magazine,”a publication for Protestant Sunday School teachers.

Four Stories for Four Children

Four Stories for Four Children

Sermon delivered at the “Traditional Egalitarian Minyan,” Adas Israel Congregation, Washington, DC Shabbat morning, Saturday August 9, 2014 Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff Four Stories for Four Children In 1982 my four-year old daughter Malka...