The month of May is Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM). This recognition was started by President George W. Bush in 2006 as a result of the Jewish Museum of Florida and South Florida Jewish Community leaders resulting in congressional leaders urging then-President Bush to recognize the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to American culture. The recognition of Jewish American Month has been continued by President Barack Obama. JAHM acknowledges the achievements of American Jews in fields ranging from sports and arts and entertainment to medicine, business, science, government, and military service.
The 2014 theme for Jewish American Heritage Month: American Jews and Tikkun Olam"--Healing the World. The theme celebrates Jewish Americans who have weaved the fabric of American culture, history and society which include humanitarian causes, social justice, medical and scientific research, community-building, and philanthropy.
This year JAHM is partnering with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). The JDC celebrates its 100th anniversary as a Jewish international humanitarian organization, putting into action the precept that all Jews are responsible for one another and for all humankind. The JDC was founded at the beginning of WWI and has benefits people and transformed lives in Israel and 90 countries.
The JAHM has website with educational features for this year’s theme http://www.jahm.us . The JAHM also has an interactive calendar for organizations to place their programs celebrating JAHM: http://www.jahm.us/view_events.aspx
When you go to http://www.jahm.us/index.aspx you will see a gallery of famous Jewish Americans. They also have a 50 states/50 stories gallery http://www.jahm.us/statestories.aspx#a1 Other stories are welcome to be submitted, however the JAHM reserves the right to edit or refuse any story.
In the past, presidents made an annual presidential proclamation for JAHM. This usually occurs during the month of May and therefore any 2014 proclamation is not yet posted but will be available on the JAHM website when this year’s proclamation is available.
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee