The Colorado Army National Guard swore in its first Jewish chaplain in decades last week.

Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik was sworn in as both a chaplain and captain in the Colorado Army National Guard last Friday (Oct. 2) at Colorado State University. Colorado Governor Jared Polis swore Gorelik in during a socially distanced ceremony held on CSU's Oval.

According to the Coloradoan, Gorelik currently runs the Rohr Chabad Jewish Center of Northern Colorado, serves as a faculty adviser for multiple of Jewish groups at Colorado State University, teaches a college course on Judaism and serves on several diversity and anti-bias task forces programs in the region. On top of that, he is the father to six children.

Lt. Col. David Nagel, who oversees the program said Gorelik is the first Jewish chaplain in Colorado's Army National Guard in at least 20 years. In fact, he could possibly be the first Jewish chaplain, ever.

Gorelik told the Coloradoan, “I’ve always had a tremendous love for the military, I love service, and I appreciate those who serve others in any capacity, not just the military.”

Not only has Gorelik made substantial contributions to the community over the last 15 years, he even received several letters of endorsement from Governor Polis, U.S Senator Michael Bennet, U.S Representative Joe Neguse, Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith, and multiple other local leaders, in regards to his new role.

Nagel told the Coloradoan that "Regardless of their own religious teachings and beliefs, U.S. military chaplains offer counsel and support to people of more than 200 faith traditions as well as agnostics and atheists".

Colorado has approximately 3,500 Army National Guardsmen serving in seven battalions across the state.

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