Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Nu, May is Jewish American Heritage Month. Who Knew?


I certainly was not aware that May is Jewish American Heritage Month.   I knew that February was Black History month, and that March is Women's History Month, and that Pride Month is in June.  I didn't realize that Jewish American Heritage  was this month.  (By the way, Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is also in May.  Which makes sense, because if you count from 2000 years ago, Israel (Judea) is officially Asia. 

May is also Older Americans Month.  This is the time that Israel, Florida, and the Jews all align as one.  Did I mention Chinese food on Christmas Eve?  I was about to.  It is all coming together!

Some of the many prominent Jewish Americans.  I am not prominent enough to be on this list

But despite the obviousness of all these co-occurences, plus the fact that I am a Jewish American, I somehow missed the memo.

JAHM began as an effort by the Jewish Museum of Florida and South Florida Jewish community leaders. Through the bi-partisan efforts of Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) and the late Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, JAHM was established in 2006 by President George W. Bush to honor the contributions and achievements of Jewish Americans and to educate all Americans.

 It’s been continued every year since then by Presidential Proclamation. 

Other notable milestones include the formation of a national advisory committee in 2007 to drive the effort forward; NASA Astronaut Garrett Reisman, a New Jersey native and University of Pennsylvania graduate, carrying the original JAHM proclamation into space in 2010, and President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama hosting the first-ever White House reception in honor of JAHM that same year. 

In 2018, The Weitzman  National Museum of American Jewish History. (Hereafter known as The Weitzman) became the home of JAHM and now leads the nationwide effort. Located in Philadelphia, the Weitzman does a great job of cataloging and promoting American Jewish culture.  Especially in light of the recent rise of anti-semitism in the US, and the unrest that is on college campuses, 

If you are looking for additional Jewish American Heritage Month events around the country, here's a list maintained by The Weitzman. 


There are many more events happening around the country, and the list above has a pretty comprehensive list of them.  

Last year, an amazing concert by Frank London and the Klezmer Brass All-Stars (in association with Joshua Nelson and the Kosher Gospel Singers) was held to celebrate.  When Klezmer meets Gospel, the results are electric!

Here it is for your listening and viewing entertainment.
(If you can't see the video below, log in here to view it)

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