The Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) and Palm Beach Synagogue hosted an in-person panel discussion on Sunday to celebrate the start of Jewish American Heritage Month.
Participants included CAM Advisory Board member and former U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Elan Carr, Dartmouth College Professor of Jewish Studies Susannah Heschel, and Palm Beach County Mayor Gregg Weiss, with CAM Senior Advisor and former Bal Harbour Mayor Gabriel Groisman moderating.
Rabbi Moshe Scheiner also addressed the crowd of nearly 100 attendees.
“And at a time when the Jewish people are under attack, what more urgent time than this to double down on Jewish story, and on Jewish heritage and on Jewish contributions to the fabric, to the very DNA, of the United States of America,” Carr said.
Heschel — the daughter of the late Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel was close ally of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King during the 1960s — commented, “My father said he grew up surrounded by people of religious nobility. I think that’s as very Jewish phrase — what is it to be a noble person in Jewish terms? It’s not wealth and power, but its religiosity — a certain spirit and the way that we behave in front of others.”
She also noted, “Dr. King made the Hebrew Bible central to the civil rights movement. He spoke about Moses and quoted from Amos.”
Mayor Weiss also issued an official proclamation recognizing Jewish American Heritage Month in Palm Beach County.
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 officially declared May as Jewish American Heritage Month.
Since then, successive presidents from both parties have all issued annual declarations emphasizing the integral and unique role Jews have played in the great American story.
In recent years, local governments — at the state, county, and municipal levels — have begun to follow suit, recognizing Jewish American Heritage Month, and implementing relevant programs, ceremonies, and activities.
For more information on Jewish American Heritage Month, please visit: combatantisemitism.org/jahm-jewish-american-heritage-month