Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff ’68, one of Dartmouth’s most fascinating alumni, was honored on May 21 with the Dartmouth Club of Washington, D.C.’s 2013 Daniel Webster Distinguished Public Service Award.
A longstanding supporter of LGBT rights, Rabbi Resnicoff delivered the prayer at the White House signing ceremony to repeal the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy. Twenty-eight years earlier, Resnicoff spoke the closing prayer at the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the creation of which he championed.
Rabbi Resnicoff is perhaps best known for helping the wounded following the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut. During the attack, Resnicoff used his kippa to wipe the blood from a wounded Marine’s face. In a key speech soon after, President Ronald Reagan cited Resnicoff’s account of the event.
A graduate of Dartmouth’s ROTC program and a theater major, Resnicoff served as a line officer during the Vietnam War, and went on to serve as Navy Chaplain for 25 years.
In a letter nominating the Rabbi for the award, Xander Meise Bay ’01 wrote, “Rabbi Resnicoff has always answered his country’s call to serve, and put the needs of the community of humanity above his own.”
Previous recipients of the annual award include Neal Katyal ’91, U.S. deputy solicitor general; Paul Tsongas ’62, former U.S. Senator; and C. Everett Koop ’37, former U.S. Surgeon General.