Lakewood Deputy Mayor R’ Menashe Miller Deploys to Iraq


menashe-millerThis past Sunday, Lakewood, NJ’s Deputy Mayor, R’ Menashe Miller, a Captain in the U.S. Air Force reserve, was deployed to Iraq to provide military mission support there, which includes counseling, assisting people of all faiths, and accompanying convoys to provide moral support. Primary to Lakewood’s Deputy Mayor, as a frum Yid and a ben Torah, is constantly making a kiddush Hashem.

“Given this opportunity,” R’ Menashe said, “it is humbling to be able to be mekadeish sheim Shomayim across the globe and hopefully also influence the Yiddishe neshamos of the Jewish soldiers I will encounter.”

R’ Menashe has, for years, devoted himself to others, both nationally and locally. His military service and contributions to American troops are part of his overall effort to give back to the community. On a local level, he has done so by serving on the Lakewood Township Committee since 2003. 

“I’ll be 80 kilometers north of Pumpedisa and Nahardaah,” R’ Menashe said this week after departing from Lakewood. “Interestingly,” he added, “unlike in the United States where we face Mizrach (towards Yerushalayim) for tefillos, I’ll be davening facing southwest.”

R’ Menashe’s position in the military is important, since it places the frum kehillah in a better position when assistance is needed in higher levels of government, as great respect is demonstrated to an individual in the military.

R’ Menashe was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 2002. After attending officer training school at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama in 2003, he graduated as a First Lieutenant.  In 2004, he was promoted to Captain, and he may ultimately be promoted to Major. R’ Menashe is a part of the 87th Air Base Wing, formerly the 305th Air Mobility Wing. 

Lakewood Committeeman Ray Coles expressed his admiration for R’ Menashe.

“During his eight years on the Township Committee, it is obvious that Menashe is someone who is sincerely devoted to helping others, and not someone who is serving to enrich himself or advance some hidden agenda,” said Coles.

Reserve training usually consists of two weeks of training during the summer and one day a month. This past summer, however, R’ Menashe spent an additional six weeks in training.           

“The military members always enjoyed having me on base,” said R’ Menashe, “because while I don’t work on Shabbos, they always appreciated having an extra pair of hands to take the calls on holidays. I was able to go to the base on holidays to give someone else time with their family.”

Even when he is not on duty, R’ Menashe is always available for calls from any base personnel who have questions about faith, family, or any other area. “Unfortunately, the military has had a high suicide rate in recent years, and the chaplaincy is working very hard to reach those who need help,” he said.

Before being deployed, R’ Menashe was inoculated against anthrax, small pox vaccine, and typhoid. He also received additional training for being in a combat zone.

“Going to a hostile environment always makes a person apprehensive about what he or she may encounter, but the Ribono Shel Olam is always watching us. Sometimes, it is being away from our regular environment that gives us an extra reminder of the omnipresence of Hakadosh Boruch Hu,” said R’ Menashe.

R’ Menashe expects to return to Lakewood at the beginning of 2011.

We wish him much hatzlachah during his current deployment and look forward to his return to Lakewood.

{Yated Ne’eman/ Newscenter}


  1. May HaShem protect him and all of our proud American soldiers who defend our country against the Islamofascist enemy. May he be a source of chizuk for the yidden proudly serving in our armed forces, just as my grandfather did, as a proud WWII veteran, and my uncles did, in Korea and Vietnam. May HaShem also protect Tzahal, who protect Eretz Yisroel from her enemies.

  2. A salute to Captain Miller. If you are returning in 2011, then we’ll have the current Mayor sworn (affirmed) for another term. Captain Miller will be Mayor in 2012.

  3. Ben Torah,

    What is untzniusdik for a man about army fatigues? Nahal Charedi wears fatigues, don’t they? There are many ways for one to be shomer shabbos in the military, and accomodations are made when necessary.


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