Throughout May, 38 state governors and 135 mayors of cities across the U.S. officially recognized Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM) — an indication of the growing awareness of the critical importance and timely relevance of this annual opportunity to highlight and celebrate Jewish contributions to U.S. society and educate the general public about Jewish culture, traditions, and history.
In 2006, the U.S. Congress passed a bipartisan resolution urging “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.”
Shortly thereafter, then-President George W. Bush declared May as Jewish American Heritage Month.
Since then, successive presidents from both parties have all released annual proclamations emphasizing the integral and unique role Jewish Americans have played in the great American story over the past three and a half centuries.
In recent years, local governments — at the state, county, and municipal levels — have begun to follow suit, recognizing JAHM, and implementing relevant programs, ceremonies, and activities, and CAM made a concerted nationwide effort to get more to do so this year.
A full database of state and city JAHM proclamations for 2023 can be viewed here.
Earlier this year, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney distributed a letter encouraging his fellow mayors in the U.S. Conference of Mayors to join him in proclaiming and celebrating JAHM in their cities.
Mayor Stoney’s initiative followed his participation as a keynote speaker at CAM’s Mayors Summit Against Antisemitism in Athens, Greece, late last fall. At that forum, Mayor Stoney and dozens of other municipal leaders from the U.S. — including New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis — and across the globe gathered together to share best practices in the collective effort against rising religious prejudice.
CAM would like to express its deepest gratitude to all governors and mayors who took part in JAHM this year, demonstrating a remarkable collaborative spirit to promote interfaith solidarity, inclusivity, and harmony.
To kick off JAHM, CAM hosted a congressional breakfast on Capitol Hill, bringing together senators, representatives, and staff members from both sides of the political aisle.
On Thursday, the @CombatASemitism Movement hosted a breakfast for U.S. Senators, Representatives, and their staff to acknowledge #JewishAmericanHeritageMonth. Dozens of congressional offices were represented from both sides of the aisle as they united to celebrate Jewish… pic.twitter.com/64M7Z9gk59
— Combat Antisemitism Movement (@CombatASemitism) April 28, 2023
And last week, as JAHM came to a close, CAM co-sponsored an Omni-American Future Project webinar titled “Jewish American Contributions to the Jazz Tradition.”
Religious diversity and tolerance are vital sources of American society’s enduring cohesion and strength, a message underscored by JAHM.
Furthermore, celebrating JAHM is a key proactive step that governmental bodies can take to help advance the collective effort to turn the tide of rising antisemitism.
Moving forward, CAM plans to engage even more governors and mayors, as well as other leaders and entities, in JAHM-related activities in 2024 and the years beyond.
If you are passionate about championing Jewish American heritage and want to play an active role in our future endeavors, we invite you to fill out this form.