Jewish American Heritage Month

Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM) is an annual recognition and celebration of Jewish American achievements in and contributions to the United States of America during the month of May.[1]

President George W. Bush first proclaimed the month on April 20, 2006, as a result of cooperation with Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), as well as the Jewish Museum of Florida and the South Florida Jewish Community.[2] Since then, annual proclamations have been made by Presidents Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

Jewish American Heritage Month
JAHM 2010 2
President Obama welcomes guests to 2010 JAHM White House reception.
Observed byUnited States
SignificanceAnnual recognition of Jewish American achievements and contributions to the United States.
BeginsMay 1
EndsMay 31
DateMay
Frequencyannual

Purpose

In April 2006, President George W. Bush announced that May 2006 would be considered Jewish American Heritage Month. The announcement was an achievement in the lobbying effort of the Jewish Museum of Florida and South Florida Jewish Community leaders for a celebration of Jewish Americans and Jewish American Heritage.

The president wanted to proclaim a month that would recognize the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to America and the American culture. On February 14, 2006, Congress issued House Concurrent Resolution 315 which stated:

"Resolved ... that Congress urges the President to issue each year a proclamation calling on State and local governments and the people of the United States to observe an American Jewish History Month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities."

The concurrent resolution (i.e., a non-binding legislative measure that lacks the force of law, appropriate when a law is not necessary—such as awards or recognitions) was passed unanimously, first in the United States House of Representatives in December 2005 and later in the United States Senate in February 2006.[3]

The Jewish American Heritage Month Coalition states that, "JAHM also enables the exploration of the meaning of religious pluralism, cultural diversity, and participation in American civic culture."[4]

According to Library of Congress hosted website, JewishHeritageMonth.gov, May was chosen as the month of Jewish American Heritage Month because of the successful 350th Anniversary Celebration of Jews in America marking the Jewish arrival in New Amsterdam.[5]

The theme for the 2016 Jewish American Heritage Month is "An American Journey".[6]

Celebration and recognition

JAHM 2010
Guests at 2010 White House reception for JAHM welcome Jewish baseball hero Sandy Koufax (center left), and entertainer/activist Theodore Bikel (center right).

JAHM has been recognized in Madison Square Garden in New York City. It has also been recognized in some Jewish museums. Additionally, some institutions, including the Library of Congress, have included shorter periods within the month for special lectures, programs, or displays, such as the Library of Congress "Jewish Heritage Week" lecture series.

A similar month exists in Florida as Florida Jewish History Month but it occurs in January.[7]

2010 White House reception

On May 10, 2010, the White House issued a press release[8] noting that on Thursday, May 27, 2010,

The month serves as an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the range and depth of Jewish American heritage and contributions to American culture, with guests representing the many walks of life that have helped weave the fabric of American history. Invitees include a range of community leaders and prominent Jewish Americans from Olympians and professional athletes to members of Congress, business leaders, scholars, military veterans, and astronauts.

At the May 27, 2010, reception, President Obama welcomed the invited guests, which included "members of the House and Senate, two justices of the Supreme Court, Olympic athletes, entrepreneurs, Rabbinical scholars", and he made special mention of Sandy Koufax, famous in the Jewish community for refusing to play baseball on Yom Kippur. He praised "the diversity of talents and accomplishments" that the Jewish community had brought to the United States since pre-Revolutionary times, saying that, "Even before we were a nation, we were a sanctuary for Jews seeking to live without the specter of violence or exile," from the time "a band of 23 Jewish refugees to a place called New Amsterdam more than 350 years ago."[9][10]

2011 White House reception

JAHM 2011
President Obama welcomes Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel at the May 17, 2011 White House reception in honor of JAHM

President Obama scheduled a second White House reception in honor of JAHM for May 17, 2011.[11] The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reported that it was "less formal than the inaugural one last year, with brief remarks and a small Marine Corps band playing klezmer music."[12] The President noted the presence, among others, of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel, and Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, newly appointed as Chair of the Democratic National Committee.[12]

In his remarks, President Obama noted that Jewish Americans "persevered despite unspeakable discrimination and adversity at times."[13] Despite the challenges these American Jews faced, the President noted their achievements in "the arts, science, the military, business and industry, and in public and community service."[13] In his remarks, he said:

This month is a chance for Americans of every faith to appreciate the contributions of the Jewish people throughout our history –- often in the face of unspeakable discrimination and adversity. For hundreds of years, Jewish Americans have fought heroically in battle and inspired us to pursue peace. They've built our cities, cured our sick. They've paved the way in the sciences and the law, in our politics and in the arts. They remain our leaders, our teachers, our neighbors and our friends.

Not bad for a band of believers who have been tested from the moment that they came together and professed their faith. The Jewish people have always persevered. And that's why today is about celebrating the people in this room, the thousands who came before, the generations who will shape the future of our country and the future of the world.[14]

In addition, a Marine Corps band playing klezmer music, and the "Maccabeats," a Yeshiva University a cappella group, provided entertainment.[12]

2015 Presidential synagogue visit

In addition to signing the proclamation[15] marking May 2015 as the annual Jewish American Heritage Month, the White House shared plans for an address by President Obama on May 22, 2015 at Adas Israel Congregation, a large Washington, D.C. synagogue.[16] The date of the visit coincides with "Solidarity Sabbath," a Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice initiative asking world leaders to show support for the fight against anti-semitism.[16]

JAHM Coalition

Since 2006, JAHM programs have taken place across the country, but in March 2007 the JAHM Coalition was formed and convened by United Jewish Communities (now The Jewish Federations of North America), The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, the Jewish Women's Archive (JWA), (AJA) and the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS), to encourage and support future programs. The JAHM Coalition is composed of the directors of major national Jewish historical and cultural organizations including the AJA, AJHS, JWA, the National Museum of American Jewish History, the Council of American Jewish Museums (CAJM), Jewish Museum of Florida, and the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington. In 2009, the Coalition named a national coordinator.[17]

See also

References

  1. ^ Krieger, Hilary Leila (May 31, 2008). "US Jews, Asian Americans learn to make merry in May together". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved January 5, 2009.
  2. ^ Reinhard, Beth (April 20, 2006). "Role of Jewish Americans to be recognized in May: Thanks to the efforts of U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, President Bush is expected to make May Jewish American Heritage Month". Miami Herald (Miami, Florida). Retrieved January 5, 2009.
  3. ^ "May designated Jewish American Heritage Month, April 20, 2006". Retrieved May 8, 2012.
  4. ^ "Jewish American Heritage Month home page". Retrieved June 25, 2010.
  5. ^ "Jewish American Heritage Month". U.S. Library of Congress. Retrieved June 25, 2010.
  6. ^ Diversity and Inclusion U.S. CBP, accessed May 6, 2016
  7. ^ Sec. 683.195 Fla. Stat (2013). http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0600-0699/0683/0683.html
  8. ^ "President and First Lady to Host White House Jewish American Heritage Month Reception". 10 May 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-11-23. Retrieved 2010-05-13.
  9. ^ Knoller, Mark (May 27, 2010). "Obama Honors Jewish Americans at White House Reception – Political Hotsheet". CBS News. Retrieved June 25, 2010.
  10. ^ Rubin, Debra (June 1, 2010). "Koufax wows White House reception". Washington Jewish Week. Archived from the original on August 11, 2011. Retrieved June 25, 2010.
  11. ^ whitehouse.gov, retrieved May 12, 2011.
  12. ^ a b c www.jta.org, retrieved May 17, 2011.
  13. ^ a b www.washingtonpost.com, retrieved May 17, 2011.
  14. ^ www.whitehouse.gov, retrieved May 17, 2011.
  15. ^ "Presidential Proclamation --Jewish American Heritage Month, 2015". 30 April 2015.
  16. ^ a b JTA newsbrief (May 15, 2015) "Obama to Address Washington Area Synagogue to Mark Jewish Heritage Month", retrieved May 19, 2015.
  17. ^ "May is Jewish American Heritage Month".

External links

American Family Day

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Arizona resident, John Makkai, is credited with pushing the holiday through the Arizona legislation. American Family Day began as a 1-year proclamation, signed by then Governor Raúl Héctor Castro, declaring August 7, 1977 American Family Day. The following year, American Family Day was signed into law as an official Arizona holiday by Governor Bruce Babbitt. The holiday also caught on in several other states, including North Carolina and Georgia.

From the Georgia Department of Education Parent Engagement Program, "American Family Day- this day brings families together to share their love and appreciation of one another."

Black History Month

Black History Month is an annual observance originating in the United States, where it is also known as African-American History Month. It has received official recognition from governments in the United States and Canada, and more recently has been observed unofficially in Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. It began as a way for remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. It is celebrated in February in the United States and Canada, while in Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom it is observed in October.

Confederate Memorial Day

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Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Deborah Wasserman Schultz (; born September 27, 1966) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Florida's 23rd congressional district, first elected to Congress in 2004. A Democrat, she is a past Chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Wasserman Schultz had served in the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate and was a national campaign co-chair for Hillary Clinton's 2008 run for president. She is the first Jewish representative elected from Florida. Her district covered

much of southern Broward County, including a large portion of Fort Lauderdale. It also covers much of northern Miami-Dade County.

Wasserman Schultz was elected chair of the Democratic National Committee in May 2011, replacing Tim Kaine. On July 28, 2016, Wasserman Schultz resigned from her position after WikiLeaks released a collection of stolen emails indicating that Wasserman Schultz and other members of the DNC staff had exercised bias against Senator Bernie Sanders and in favor of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primaries. She was subsequently appointed honorary chair of the Clinton campaign's "50 state program".[73]

Fred Korematsu Day

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Fred Korematsu Day was also celebrated in Illinois in 2014, but it isn't clear whether then-Gov. Pat Quinn's proclamation extended past the year. Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Utah have submitted resolutions honoring the day, and South Carolina has submitted a bill to their legislature.

Google recognized Fred Korematsu Day in 2017 with a Google Doodle by artist Sophie Diao, featuring a patriotic portrait of Korematsu wearing his Presidential Medal of Freedom, a scene of the internment camps to his back, surrounded by cherry blossoms, flowers that have come to be symbols of peace and friendship between the US and Japan.

Harriet Tubman Day

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Lee–Jackson Day

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In 1983, the holiday was merged with the new Federal holiday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, as Lee–Jackson–King Day in Virginia. This merger was reversed in 2000.

Lee–Jackson Day is currently observed on the Friday that immediately precedes Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (the third Monday in January). Typical events include a wreath-laying ceremony with military honors, a Civil War themed parade, symposia, and a gala ball. State offices are closed for both holidays.Many Virginia cities, such as Charlottesville, Fairfax, Fredericksburg, Hampton, Newport News, Richmond, and Winchester, choose not to observe Lee–Jackson Day. In 2017, the Town of Blacksburg decided to stop observing the day as well.

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List of month-long observances

The following is a list of notable month-long observances, recurrent months that are used by various governments, groups and organizations to raise awareness of an issue, commemorate a group or event, or celebrate something.

National Aviation Day

The National Aviation Day (August 19) is a United States national observation that celebrates the development of aviation.

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National Freedom Day

National Freedom Day is a United States observance on February 1 honoring the signing by Abraham Lincoln of a joint House and Senate resolution that later became the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. President Lincoln signed the Amendment outlawing slavery on February 1, 1865, although it was not ratified by the states until later.

Palestine Airways

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It operated from July 1937 until August

1940, under the aegis of the British corporation Imperial Airways.

Pan American Aviation Day

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Robert E. Lee Day

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The Maccabeats

The Maccabeats are an American Orthodox Jewish all-male a cappella group. Founded in 2007 at Yeshiva University, Manhattan, New York, the 14-member group specializes in covers and parodies of contemporary hits using Jewish-themed lyrics. Their breakout 2010 Hanukkah music video for "Candlelight", a parody of Mike Tompkins' a cappella music video for Taio Cruz's "Dynamite", logged more than two million hits in its first ten days; the video has been viewed more than 14 million times as of 2018. They have recorded three albums and one EP, and frequently release music videos in conjunction with Jewish holidays. They tour worldwide and have performed at the White House and the Knesset.

Women's Equality Day

Women's Equality Day is celebrated in the United States on August 26 to commemorate the 1920 adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment (Amendment XIX) to the United States Constitution, which prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex. It was first celebrated in 1973 and is proclaimed each year by the United States President.

Women's History Month

Women's History Month is an annual declared month that highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. It is celebrated during March in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, corresponding with International Women's Day on March 8, and during October in Canada, corresponding with the celebration of Persons Day on October 18.

Wright Brothers Day

Wright Brothers Day (December 17) is a United States national observation. It is codified in the US Code, and commemorates the first successful flights in a heavier-than-air, mechanically propelled airplane, that were made by Orville and Wilbur Wright on December 17, 1903, near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. On September 24, 1959 U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower declared December 17 to be Wright Brothers Day.Wright Brothers Day was announced as an official commemorative day in Ohio, on October 5, 2011, celebrating 100 years of practical flight for the Wright Brothers.

Zane Buzby

Zane Buzby is an American Television Director, Philanthropist, and Film Director.

United States Holidays, observances, and celebrations in the United States
January
January–February
February
American Heart Month
Black History Month
February–March
March
Irish-American Heritage Month
National Colon Cancer Awareness Month
Women's History Month
March–April
April
Confederate History Month
May
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Jewish American Heritage Month
June
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
Transgender Pride Month
July
July–August
August
September
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
September–October
Hispanic Heritage Month
October
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Disability Employment Awareness Month
Filipino American History Month
LGBT History Month
October–November
November
Native American Indian Heritage Month
December
Varies (year round)

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