First Female Rabbi in the United States Air Force, Chaplain, Captain Sarah D. Schechter, to Keynote at Forest Lawn-Cypress' 41st Annual Memorial Day Celebration

CYPRESS, Calif.--()--May 23, 2005--Forest Lawn:

-- Brigadier General George Vogel, Chaplain, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Long Beach to Present Invocation and Recognize Gold Star Parents; Gettysburg Address to Be Performed by Commander Dick Fenn, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post #7243, Hawaiian Gardens

Forest Lawn(R) today announced Chaplain, Captain Sarah D. Schechter, the first female Rabbi in the United States Air Force, will provide the keynote address at its Memorial Day Celebration, Celebrating the American Spirit, in Cypress. Alan "Doc" Polivka, Commander, will act as Master of Ceremonies in Cypress and the Honorable Mayor Mike McGill will present the Presidential Proclamation. Beginning at 10:00 a.m., this free event is expected to attract hundreds of Southern Californians, all joining to Celebrate American Patriots.

Chaplain, Captain Sarah Schechter is stationed at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, California. A native of New York, she received her certificate of Rabbinic Ordination from the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in 2003. She spent her first year of college abroad on a kibbutz program in Israel, and then attended college in Kyoto where she conducted research on the history of the Jewish community of Japan and Israeli-Japanese trade relations. After graduating from Hunter College in 1982, she returned to Japan to work for Nippon Telephone and Communications as an interpreter. Wanting to strengthen ties between Israel and Japan, she worked for the Consulate of Israel in Tokyo as a freelance interpreter for visiting delegations from Israel.

In 1996 Schechter enrolled in rabbinic school, and over a seven-year period she received a Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters, a Master of Arts in Jewish Education, and was ordained Rabbi from Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion. Her military service began as a Chaplain Candidate, Second Lieutenant in March of 2002. She was commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the Reserves in September 2003 and entered active duty service in January of 2004. Chaplain, Captain Schechter is the first female Rabbi to serve in the United States Air Force, and for a time was the only Active Duty female Rabbi in the Department of Defense.

Ceremony highlights will include a memorial wreath laying ceremony honoring those who served in virtually every U.S. military action and the Gettysburg Address presented by Commander Dick Fenn, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post #7243 in Hawaiian Gardens. Brigadier General George Vogel, Chaplain, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Long Beach will recognize Gold Star Parents and conduct a roll call of deceased veterans. Music will be provided by the celebrated Western High School Band and Nicholson Pipes and Drums.

Local participants include the Sea Scouts, Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach; Veterans Of Foreign Wars, Post #9847; Veterans Of Foreign Wars, Post #9847 Auxiliary; American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.; The American Legion, Post #295, Cypress; The American Legion, Post #295 Auxiliary, Cypress; Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Chapter 14; The American Legion, Post #716, Los Alamitos; The American Legion, Post #716 Auxiliary, Los Alamitos; Naval Weapons Station, Seal Beach; Fleet Reserve Association, Orange County Branch and Unit #175; Orange County 1st Marine Division; Veterans Of Foreign Wars, Post #9756; Westminster; Veterans Of Foreign Wars, Post #7243, Hawaiian Gardens; Veterans Of Foreign Wars, Post #7243 Auxiliary, Hawaiian Gardens; Fleet Reserve Association, Branch #317, Los Alamitos; 82nd Airborne Division Association, Cypress; the Vietnam Motorcycle Club A Chapter, and the Women Club Of Cypress. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 1.800.204.3131 or go to www.forestlawn.com. Forest Lawn-Cypress is at 4471 Lincoln Ave.

Forest Lawn is the community resource where families and friends turn to celebrate life - from weddings and baptisms to funerals and family history. Founded in 1906, Forest Lawn serves Southern California through its six locations - Glendale, Hollywood Hills, Cypress, Covina Hills, Long Beach, and Claremont. Forest Lawn regularly hosts a variety of cultural and civic programs as part of its commitment to providing Southern California residents with educational and cultural events that celebrate meaningful moments in life from around the world.

Contacts

Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks & Mortuaries
Alison Bruesehoff, 800.204.3131
or
Skilset Communications
Phyllis Grabot, 805.341.7269
Bonnie Quintanilla, 818.681.5777

Contacts

Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks & Mortuaries
Alison Bruesehoff, 800.204.3131
or
Skilset Communications
Phyllis Grabot, 805.341.7269
Bonnie Quintanilla, 818.681.5777