Editor's Note: This article was originally published January 2022 by Julian Temblador.


Col. Shawn McCammon carves into the new year
Chaplain Col. Shawn McCammon, Command Chaplain for USAG Bavaria, poses for a photo in front of the Bima (Torah reading table) he built. (Photo Credit: Julian Temblador ) VIEW ORIGINAL

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Chaplain Col. Shawn McCammon, the Command Chaplain for U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria, constructed a Bima (Torah reading table) for the Jewish community within the USAG Bavaria footprint.

“Woodworking is a hobby of mine, and I enjoy building things for people and organizations,” McCammon said. “I have left something at every chapel I’ve worked at.

My heart goes into all that I build.”

McCammon constructed this Bima with only a few woodworking tools, because he left many of his tools in the States.

“My father-in-law, who taught me about woodworking, often said that anything could be built with a skill saw and a router,” McCammon said. “So I accepted the challenge and built the Bima in my spare time on the weekends.”

McCammon took a few months to complete the table due to weather and time constraints, but the wait was well worth it.

Chaplain Col. Henry Soussan, Deputy Garrison Chaplain and Rabbi for USAG Bavaria, stated that the new Bima was well received and is already in use during Jewish services on-post.

Col. Shawn McCammon carves into the new year
Chaplain Col. Shawn McCammon, Command Chaplain for USAG Bavaria built a Bima for the USAG Bavaria Rabbi to read the Torah from during Jewish services. (Photo Credit: Julian Temblador ) VIEW ORIGINAL

“We use it every time a passage is read from the Torah,” Soussan said. “This is a perfect example of how we — at the Religious Support Office at USAG Bavaria — support each other, regardless of different beliefs.”

McCammon stated that the need for a Bima at Tower Barracks drove his desire to build it.

“USAG Bavaria is blessed to host the only Army Rabbi in Europe, so we wanted to provide the best that we could,” McCammon said. “Especially while Col. Soussan is here.”

The USAG Bavaria Chaplain’s office provides religious support to Soldiers, civilians and their families across the Tower Barracks, Rose Barracks, Hohenfels and Garmisch communities. For more information on the Religious Support Office, click this link:  USAG Bavaria RSO.