Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

March 13, 2007 13:38 ET

DND: Canadian Forces Welcomes Jewish Chaplain

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 13, 2007) - Rabbi Chaim Mendelsohn, the first Orthodox Rabbi to serve in the Canadian Forces (CF) since the end of the Second World War, was sworn in today at the National Defence Medical Centre Auditorium in Ottawa.

During the simple installation service, Rabbi Mendelsohn swore allegiance to the Queen, and received his commission as a military officer at the rank of Captain.

Captain Mendelsohn will serve as chaplain to 28 Field Ambulance, a hundred-member unit in Ottawa that provides health support services to the reserve soldiers in the area (33 Brigade).

"This is a momentous day," said Brig.-Gen. Stan Johnstone, Chaplain General of the Canadian Forces. "We welcome Rabbi Mendelsohn to the Chaplain Branch with open arms," he added, "and through our commitment to diversity, we will be able to better meet the spiritual needs of all CF members and their families."

"Our chaplains provide an invaluable service to our brave men and women in uniform serving around the world," said General Rick Hillier, Chief of Defence Staff. "We are honoured to have Rabbi Mendelsohn join our CF family, and I am confident that the work of all our chaplains better equips our members to face personal and professional challenges."

The CF Chaplaincy Branch is a multi-faith branch, dedicated to providing service to all of the men and women who serve as soldiers, sailors, and air force personnel, regardless of faith. As the Chaplain Branch further evolves, it will continue to encompass both chapel-based activities and provide a 'ministry of presence' wherever military personnel may be found.

For more information about the Chaplain Branch, see the backgrounder entitled "The Canadian Forces Chaplaincy" in the Newsroom at or visit the Chaplain General's website at

Contact Information

  • About the installation of Rabbi Mendelsohn
    Nathalie Lauzon
    Information: 613-996-2353/54
    After hours: 613-792-2973