Friday, October 21, 2005

First Female Airman Killed in Iraq Had Jewish Roots

Elizabeth Nicole Jacobson, 21, was providing convoy security in Iraq on Sept. 28 and was killed when her vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device.
At her funeral in Pompano Beach, Fla., on Sunday, her father David Jacobson, who lives in California, spoke of his last conversation with Elizabeth, three days before her death. She had called him in tears from Kuwait; during the drive from Iraq, a dog ran in front of her vehicle and was killed.

“She felt horrible,” he said — even in a combat zone.

Five years ago, David Jacobson began practicing as an Orthodox Jew; a few years later his father, Allan, who did not even know that he was Jewish until the age of 9, began to explore Orthodoxy as well.

“Her mother wasn’t Jewish, so she wasn’t Jewish,” said Allan Jacobson of his granddaughter. “But she believed that if her father had determined” that a traditional Jewish life “was for him, it must be the right thing.” Jacobson had “Jewish” stamped on her dog tags, and her father and grandfather both believed that she intended to convert to Judaism upon her return from Iraq.


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