Well Thursday night I went with my father to a reception at Scout HQ where the National Chaplain for the Jewish Committee spoke and than my father made a comment.
Can you believe it just a little comment. He tells stories to hundreds, teaches students and discusses religious stuff with no problem, but when it comes to being recognized for his work, he has nothing to say.
We went to the Council Dinner, I wore my Venturing uniform, where he was presented with the Silver Beaver. There was easily over 500 people there. There were a lot of cheers as my father stepped up onto the stage.
Would you believe they spelled “Rock” wrong? Here is the citation that put in the program book about my father:
Rabbi Rachmiel “Rach” Tobesman
Rachmiel Tobesman came to Scouting as an adult. His motivation was to become a Scoutmaster under very special circumstances. He saw a need for fervently observant Jewish Boy Scouts to be able to participate in the outdoor program and still be consistent with their religious practices.
As an enthusiastic new leader. Rach brought maturity, passion and energy to this responsibility. Very quickly. Troop 13. sponsored by Ner Tamid Congregation was seen as successfully blending traditional standards and religious purpose. This successful combination established the groundwork for future units with the same focus.
As a unit leader, Rach combined his roles as a Rabbi. teacher, story teller and spiritual guide. Through his energy, he initially revitalized the Jewish Religious Retreat (kinus). As chair of the Jewish Committee. he worked to establish one combined truly ecumenical religious program involving all Scouts: Jewish, Catholic and Protestant. He has been so committed to his ministry that he is believed to be the only Rabbi who is a member of the National Catholic Committee on Scanting.
In 2005, Rach accepted the challenge to serve as a Mashgiach at the National Boy Scout Jamboree. In this role, he became the person who resolved both the religious and practical challenges of supervising and serving ten days worth of Kosher meals three times a day to Jewish and Muslim Scouts. Despite personal hardships, he proved that it could be done.
As a direct outcome of Rabbi Tobesman’s successes. he became a part of the Northeast Region Jewish Committee assuming responsibility for program planning for their annual conference. Similarly. he has served for a number summers as Chaplain at the Philmont Scout Ranch.
Rabbi Tobesman is creative and willing to serve God and our youth in any way he can. He serves as an inspirational example of what it truly means to be a man of God. Daily he shows us how to combine an active. Scout presence and yet still be a humble and dedicated servant, cheerfully giving of his time and talents for the benefit of others.
Scoutmaster, Venture Crew Advisor, Roundtable Commissioner, District Committee, Wood Badge, Wood Badge Staff, National Jamboree Staff, Philmont Scout Ranch Chaplain, Philmont Training Center Faculty, Shofar Award, Interfaith Committee, Chairman of Jewish Committee, Regional Jewish Committee