'Valor & Virtue' exhibit in Costa Mesa shines a light on Jewish Americans in the US military

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Saturday, November 4, 2023
New exhibit honors Jewish American soldiers
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A new exhibit at the Heroes Hall Museum in Costa Mesa honors the contributions of Jewish American soldiers. The 'Valor & Virtue" exhibit notes the bravery of those who went beyond the call of duty

COSTA MESA (KABC) -- A new exhibit at the Heroes Hall museum in Costa Mesa honors the contributions of Jewish American soldiers.

The bravery and courage of a select group of U.S. service members is being recognized at the veterans museum, located at the Orange County fairgrounds.

"The purpose of this exhibit is to help tell the stories of 18 Jewish Americans who have received our country's highest award for valor," said Brent Ogden, an exhibits specialist for Heroes Hall. "Out of 3,500 total Medal of Honor recipients only 18 are recognized for being Jewish American."

The "Valor & Virtue" exhibit showcases the lives of heroes from the Civil War through Afghanistan, with photographs and artifacts on display to tell their stories.

"Out of the 18 individuals that we have highlighted, there's actually only one still living today: Jack Jacobs for his actions in the Vietnam War," said Ogden.

Christopher Celiz is the most recent Medal of Honor recipient. He received the award after his death for his heroic actions during the Afghanistan War in 2018.

The exhibit is centered on Tibor Rubin, who became a prisoner of war while serving in the Korean War and called Orange County home.

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"And what makes this man unique is that he's the only holocaust survivor to only receive the Congressional Medal of Honor," said Ogden.

Organizers hope the exhibits shine a light on Jewish Americans in the U.S. military who have shown extraordinary bravery and gone above and beyond the call of duty.

"Those who serve come from every walk of life," said Ogden. "They all have something to offer to what makes America great."

Heroes Hall will be hosting a Veterans Day commemoration on Nov. 11. The Valor & Virtue exhibit runs through March 31.