The Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) has announced Molly Backer as the winner of the 2023 Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM) Creative Contest.
Backer’s contest entry, a video highlighting the life and achievements of the late Jewish American conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein, was chosen from a diverse group of videos, essays, poems that were submitted to CAM. She earned a cash prize for her selection.
“Bernstein used his music as a way to speak out and fight for the causes he believed in,” Backer noted in her video.
Watch Backer’s video here:
The purpose of the contest was to celebrate JAHM, which is marked every May, and explore Jewish contributions to humanity and American society.
Throughout May, 38 state governors and 135 mayors of cities across the U.S. officially recognized 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.