Each year the National Bible Association awards the prestigious Witherspoon Award to one chaplain from each military service branch, recognizing special creativity and achievement in inspiring others to read the Scriptures. This year’s Navy recipient is LT Josh Sherwin. Endorsed by JWB Jewish Chaplains Council in 2009, Chaplain Sherwin has served with the second Marine division out of Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, deploying to Afghanistan, and is currently stationed at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
Chaplain Sherwin is the second rabbi to be presented with the Witherspoon Award; the first was Major Carlos Huerta, West Point chaplain, in 2011.
He will receive the award at a gala to be held in New York City.
Sherwin organized an interfaith trip to Israel for a group of midshipmen, and in preparation, the 30 participants attended sessions detailing the development of the three Abrahamic faiths. A diverse group of Jews, Christians, a Buddhist, agnostics and atheists went on the 10-day trip over spring break, visiting sites holy to the three monotheistic faiths. “People were shocked at how small and green Israel is,” remarked Sherwin.