The City Council of Palm Springs, California — led by Mayor Grace Garner — officially recognized Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM) on Thursday.
The JAHM proclamation was accepted at a City Council meeting by Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) Project Manager Jenn Gipson and CEO of the Jewish Federation of the Desert Alan Potash.
“Here in Palm Springs, the vibrant Jewish community has played a vital role in the city’s history and development with many of its most iconic landmarks once being owned and operated by Jewish entrepreneurs,” Gipson said. “From the early settlers who arrived in the late 19th century to the wonderful Jewish community that exists here today, Palm Springs has been a place of opportunity, hope, and resilience for many Jewish Americans.”
“Palm Springs is known for being an inclusive and diverse city that celebrates and respects its residents’ cultural heritage,” she added. “This recognition of Jewish American Heritage Month is a testament to the city’s commitment to promoting acceptance and understanding among all of its residents, regardless of their background or faith.”
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 released annual declarations 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 Jewish American Heritage Month, and implementing relevant programs, ceremonies, and activities.
This past February, Mayor of Richmond, Virginia Levar Stoney distributed a letter encouraging his fellow city leaders in the U.S. Conference of Mayors to join him in proclaiming and celebrating JAHM across the nation.
This initiative by U.S. mayors to mark Jewish American Heritage Month follows through on a pledge made at the Mayors Summit Against Antisemitism in Athens, Greece, in December 2022 to proactively combat antisemitism on the local level.
We were honored to receive the Palm Springs proclamation for Jewish American Heritage Month alongside @JFSDesert. Thank you Mayor @GraceGarnerCA and the @CityofPS for for joining us in celebrating the many contributions of Jewish Americans to our society. pic.twitter.com/PHkDtS2RmL
— Combat Antisemitism Movement (@CombatASemitism) May 12, 2023