Students at Jewish Community Day School held a student assembly on Veterans Day and heard from a speaker they may never forget. Judge Sol Gothard, the commander of the New Orleans Post of the Jewish War Veterans of America, talked to the students about the meaning and importance of Veterans Day.

His three older brothers, Gerald, Jack and Abe, all served in World War II, with Abe being awarded the Purple Heart for serious wounds sustained in battle.

Judge Gothard is an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Army, who served during the Korean War. He is a former social worker, lawyer and judge of the Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal, State of Louisiana. He serves as a full professor of social work and law at Tulane University Graduate School of Social Work. He is a lecturer, actor and consultant.

Gothard was honored recently by the National Association of Forensic Social Work with the creation of the “Sol Gothard Lifetime Achievement Award” and by the National Association of Social Workers Foundation, who recognized him as a “Pioneer in the Field of Social Work.” He is a recipient of the People’s Health Award.

“Every branch of the United States military as well as the Israeli Defense Forces not only protects our country during times of war,” Gothard said. “They also perform community services such as helping immigrants, building houses for the homeless and responding in times of disaster.”

The Jewish War Veterans is the oldest active national veterans’ service organization in America. It promotes legislation, assists veterans, sponsors programs on Jewish communal concerns, supports Israel, advocates for Soviet Jewry and combats anti-Semitism.

The Jules Lazard Post 580 New Orleans JWV, the fastest-growing and most diverse JWV Post in the country, contributes to many Jewish causes including the Jewish Community Day School, Jewish Family Service and Jewish Children’s Regional Service. The organization has participated in programs with the WWII Museum, Marine Corps, American Legion and the Volunteers of America on behalf of homeless veterans.

Any Jewish American who served in any branch of the armed forces or any Jew living in the U.S. who served in an allied country is eligible to join as a full member. Nonveterans can join as patrons. For information on JWV, contact Gothard at judgesol@cox.net.

JCDS, 3747 West Esplanade Ave., is an independent school for boys and girls in grades pre-K through five. Its mission is to instill a strong ethical foundation rooted in Judaism and a love of learning invigorated by academic excellence.

For information, visit jcdsnola.org.