Veterans Post Launches a Name Change

For the second time in its 58-year history, Post 575 of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America has honored a former soldier by latching his name to the group.

When it formed back in 1947, the post was named after Lt. Milton Kelkey, a Philadelphian who was killed in battle during World War II. In April, the Northeast Philadelphia chapter officially was renamed the Kelkey-Blatt Post to mark the deeds and voluntarism of Edward Blatt, who died at the age of 76 in February.

Blatt, a World War II veteran who had served as national commander of the Jewish War Vets, also led the Kelkey post several times; he was known to fellow members as "Mr. Everything."

"He ran the entire post," said publicity chair Sanford Silver.

Just last month, Blatt was further awarded the coveted "Man of the Year" honorific at the national group's annual convention.

Beginning this fall, the post will move its monthly meetings from Adath Zion Congregation in Northeast Philadelphia to the Casino Deli Restaurant on Welsh Road, also in the Northeast.

Post Commander Steve Zeitz said the reason for doing so is that the restaurant doesn't have any steps for members to climb.

Until five years ago, the post – which in the early 1970s boasted more than 1,500 members, but today claims about 250 – had its own space on Bustleton Avenue. A rise in costs, coupled with decreasing membership, forced the group to sell.

Still, Silver said the post is trying to enlist new members."



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