A Most Unusual Relationship

A Baptist Minister and a Reform Rabbi

A Most Unusual Relationship traces the lives of two men from totally different backgrounds who were able to set aside their differences to serve effectively as chaplains in the US Army Reserves. That professional relationship turned into a serious friendship that lasted for nearly forty years. Alan Sherman, a Reform Rabbi with a strong “liberal” political viewpoint, received his commission in the Army after graduating Hebrew Union College Rabbinical School. Herb Sennett, born and raised in a strong Evangelical Protestant household with strong Republican political views received his commission after graduating The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He had previously served as an infantry officer who resigned his commission upon completion of his six-year obligation under the draft.

With that background, these two men met in 1985 as part of the same Army Reserve unit in West Palm Beach, Florida. Although both were a bit hesitant, they resolved to work together for the sake of the troops. When they received orders to active duty for Desert Shield/Storm in September 1990, they found themselves as roommates at Ft. Stewart, Georgia. During those first several months on active duty, Alan and Herb found that they both had a great deal in common besides their religious faith. The friendship began to blossom and was almost fully developed by May 1991 when they were both released from active duty.

Their friendship continued to grow after they returned to West Palm Beach. What they went through together during that brief period sparked a friendship that has continued to grow. Decisions they made separately often pushed them together in an even deeper friendship on many levels. Their story is truly a must read about what can happen when people set aside their differences to serve a greater good for society.