Chaplain Colonel Ira Kronenberg

Chaplain Colonel Ira Kronenberg

Dec 29, 2006

Rabbi (Colonel) Ira Kronenberg graduated Yeshiva University in 1969 with a BA in Mathematics and received an MS in Semitic Languages from Bernard Revel Graduate School. He received smicha from RIETS, and a MSW from the Wurtsweiller School of Social Work.

Although he was enrolled in NYU for a Masters in Operation Research he decided to go to RIETS to receive Smicha, but had no intention to make the Rabbonus a career. On a personal note, his father had come to the US after the war and earned very little money. Therefore, he and his sister and brother had gone to yeshivas on large financial scholarships. As an Hakaroth Hatov, he asked Rabbi Israel Miller Z”L of Yeshiva University, where he could be of service to the Jewish Community for a few years after he received his Smicha. Rabbi Miller recommended the army. Due to the Vietnam War, there was a shortage of Jewish chaplains, so he joined the army in 1975 with the intention of staying just two years while completing his Masters. However, he enjoyed working with people so much that when he was discharged in 1975, he accepted the position of Director of Religious Services at the Daughters of Miriam/Gallen Institute in Clifton, NJ. He has been there for 31 years while remaining in the Reserves.

In 2003, when the war in the Middle East started, he was mobilized back on active duty. Over the years he has had numerous military assignments and is currently Deputy Installation Chaplain at Fort Dix, NJ.

Among his many chaplain duties, he conducted Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkoth services in Afghanistan in 2005 and Passover Services in Afghanistan again in 2006. This past Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkoth, 5767, he conducted services in Iraq and will conduct Chanukah Services there this year as well.

His awards include the Army Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster, Army Accommodation Medal with two oak leaf clusters and the Meritorious Service Medal. Rabbi Kronenberg was also named Jewish Military Chaplain for the year 2005 by the RCA and received the Hoenig Award.

He has been married since 1973 to Faigie (nee Roth) and they have three children, Ely, Shira, and Mirlana and seven grandchildren.