National Hispanic Heritage Month – Wikipedia

National Hispanic Heritage Month is the period from September 15 to October 15 in the United States, when people recognize the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the group’s heritage and culture.

Hispanic Heritage Week was established by legislation sponsored by Rep. Edward R. Roybal (D-Los Angeles) and first proclaimed President Lyndon Johnson in 1968.[1][2] The commemorative week was expanded by legislation sponsored by Rep. Esteban E. Torres (D-Pico Rivera) and implemented by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period (September 15 – October 15).[1] It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988 on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. All declared independence in 1821. In addition, Mexico, Chile and Belize celebrate their independence days on September 16, September 18, and September 21, respectively.[3]

Hispanic Heritage Month also celebrates the long and important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans in North America, starting with the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. A map of late 18th-century North America shows this presence, from the small outpost of San Francisco founded in the desolate wilderness of Alta California in 1776, through the Spanish province of Texas with its vaqueros (cowboys), to the fortress of St. Augustine, Florida the first settlement in North America, founded in 1513, ninety-four years before the English landed in Jamestown, Virginia.

During HHM, communities celebrate the achievements and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans with community festivals, government-sponsored activities and educational activities for students.

Northwest Arkansas Hispanic Heritage Festival, located in Fayetteville, Arkansas, established 2013 by the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce.[4]

The El Barrio Latin Jazz festival: This event in the Bronx, NYC starts on September 15 and continues through September 25. People attending the event can learn more about the Latin music scene in Harlem and its global impact while enjoying live jazz performances.


(federal) = federal holidays, (state) = state holidays, (religious) = religious holidays, (week) = weeklong holidays, (month) = monthlong holidays, (36) = Title 36 Observances and Ceremonies Bolded text indicates major holidays that are commonly celebrated by Americans, which often represent the major celebrations of the month.[1][2]

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National Hispanic Heritage Month – Wikipedia

April is What National Month Calendar –

How Businesses Celebrate the Month of April Thomas Barwick/ Stone/ Getty Images

Updated September 08, 2016

April Fool’s Day Business Humor

For years BMW has run print ads (mostly in Europe) announcing special features not found in other cars. How many were duped is anyone’s guess. But you have to love a car maker that can poke fun at itself and its drivers — and still keep its brand in tact. Read more…

Many countries adopt causes or a special interest group to promote during a calendar month. The United States is particularly prolific at creating “national month” events to promote business interests.

April is one of the few months that does not contain a long list of ridiculous observations (“July is Lasagna Awareness Month.”)

The following events are observed calendar month-long (unless otherwise indicated):

Is there a way your business can benefit by promoting itself during “April is” national month?

Other National Months:

January – February – March – April – May – June – July – August – September – October – November – December

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April is What National Month Calendar –

The Jewish Museum – Programs – Families

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Come visit the Jewish Museum and discover why 5th Ave at 92nd St is the intersection of art and Jewish culture. LearnMore

Individual, Corporate, and Foundation support are crucial to furthering the Jewish Museums mission to collect, preserve, exhibit, and interpret art and Jewish culture.


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Jewish American Heritage Month –

Initiated by the Jewish Museum of Florida, with the effort led by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and enacted by the 109th Congress, President George Bush signed a resolution in 2006 that each May would be Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM). Like other group’s months, JAHM is the time to celebrate the contributions of American Jews to the fabric of our nation’s lives. America has been both a haven and a home to Jews. Many arrived as immigrants seeking escape from persecution, and in finding freedom, tolerance and opportunities here, have given back in all areas to enrich our national culture. Each May, the President of the U.S. issues a Proclamation for JAHM. For more information on JAHM please visit

“This month, we remember that the history and unique identity of Jewish Americans is part of the grand narrative of our country, forged in the friendships and shared wisdom between people of different faiths.” – President Barack Obama.

At the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU (JMOF-FIU), visitors can see a copy of the Presidential Proclamation that Jewish astronaut Garrett Reisman brought into space in May 2010. While he was the first Jewish crew member on the International Space Station, Reisman notes that he is one of many in a “long line of Jewish Americans who have been deeply involved in the space program” and pointed to David Wolf, the first Jewish American to be part of the Russian-American crew on the space station MIR, and Judy Resnik, who he called a “pathfinder.” After the Proclamation was returned from space, JMOF-FIU donated the original to the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia where it is on display in Independence Hall.

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Jewish American Heritage Month –

Myths & Facts: Archived Online Exclusive | Jewish Virtual …

The Palestinian Authority held a free, democratic election in 2005. Israel is building the security fence as part of a land grab to control the West Bank and prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state. The demographic threat to Israel posed by Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza is overrated and therefore Israel need not make territorial compromises. Israel is killing Palestinians with radiation spy machines. Unlike other Arab women, Palestinian women are not killed for dishonoring their families. Israel has moved the border so it will not withdraw completely from the Gaza Strip. Hamas should be permitted to participate in Palestinian Authority elections. Israel’s disengagement from Gaza was a victory for terror. Israel is obstructing Palestinian elections. Academic freedom means any criticism of Israel is permissible in a university. The Palestinian Authority held a democratic election and Israel and the rest of the world must accept that Hamas was the victor. Israel is digging under the Al-Aksa mosque and intends to destroy it. Israel is responsible for disparaging cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. The Palestinians have maintained a truce and ceased terror operations against Israel. The PA is entitled to international aid because Hamas was democratically elected and the Palestinian people should not be made to suffer because Israel doesnt like the election outcome. Saudi Arabia has ended its boycott of Israel. Israel is knowingly desecrating a Muslim holy place in Jerusalem by building a museum on top of a cemetery. Hamas is a threat only to Israel. Palestinians have the right to sell land to Jews. Israel has no justification for withholding tax monies due to the Palestinian Authority. If Israel ends the occupation, there will be peace. Israel deliberately targets Lebanese civilians. Israel should exchange Arab prisoners for soldiers kidnaped by Hamas and Hizballah. The media is fairly and accurately covering the war in Lebanon. Israeli forces deliberately targeted civilians during the war instigated by Hizballah. A unity Palestinian government will reinvigorate the peace process. Saudi Arabia has proposed a new formula for a comprehensive peace. A new report proves Israeli settlements are built on Palestinian land. The overwhelming majority of casualties in the war with Hizballah were civilians. Abbas is helpless to stop the terrorists. Israel is obstructing progress toward a Palestinian state. Israeli Arabs are unpatriotic. Women are not recruited to become suicide bombers. Palestinian terrorist groups are committed to a cease-fire. Israel is damaging the Temple Mount and threatening Islamic shrines. Palestinians are moderating their views toward Israel. The Arab peace initiative reflects the Arab states acceptance of Israel. Israel is denying health care to Palestinians. The Hamas takeover of Gaza poses no threat to Christians. Lebanon has abided by UN Resolution 1701 and poses no direct threat to Israel. Israel is once again expelling Arabs from Palestine. The occupation has sapped Israel’s morale as reflected by the decline in Israelis willing to serve in the IDF. Israel has nothing to fear from a nuclear Iran. Israels presumed nuclear capability is stoking an arms race. Irans nuclear program threatens only Israel. No state in the world connects its national identity to a religious identity. Arab participation in the Annapolis conference signaled a new attitude toward Israel. Palestinians prefer to live in a Palestinian state. Israel and the Palestinians agree a future Palestinian state will have an army. Gaza settlers greenhouses have bolstered the PA economy. The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is Israel’s fault. Israel’s actions in Gaza were disproportionate and unprovoked. Israel’s enemies must recognize the Jewish state’s right to exist. Palestinians are driven to terror by poverty and desperation. Israel must negotiate with Hamas. Mahmoud Abbas has rooted out the corruption in the Palestinian Authority . Hizbollah is a resistance movement whose only interest is fighting Israel. Palestinian terrorist groups agreed to a cease-fire to advance the peace process. Olmert’s resignation means the end of peace talks with the Palestinians. Arabs cannot vote in Israel. Israel is intolerant of homosexuality. Hamas will not break a ceasefire. Arab states’ sincerity in promoting their peace initiative is reflected in their positions in international forums. Charles Freeman was the right choice for chair of the National Intelligence Council and the Israel lobby was responsible for his not being appointed. Arab states support Iran. Netanyahu is not an advocate for peace. The United States missed an opportunity to address the issue of global racism in its non-participation in Durban II. Abbas is ready to accept a Jewish state in the framework of a two-state solution. Khaled Meshaal seeks peace, not the destruction of Israel. The popes trip to Israel shows that issues between Israel and the Vatican have been resolved. Obama and Netanyahu have irreconcilable visions of peace. Netanyahu’s government refuses to honor past agreements on settlements. There is urgency to resolve the Palestinian-Israel conflict. Palestinian leaders are committed to peace. Fatah’s Sixth Congress proved the party’s rejuvenated committment to peace. Saudi Arabia is on the path to normalizing relations with Israel. The Goldstone Report proves Israel is guilty of war crimes in Gaza. In exchange for a settlement freeze, Arab states are offering overflight rights as a peace gesture to Israel. Jews were responsible for the defeat of Egypt’s candidate for UNESCO. The enemies of Israel will not misuse the Goldstone Report. Amnesty’s water report fairly portrays Israel. The threat Hizbollah poses to Israel has diminished. Syria is ready for peace with Israel. Settlements are an obstacle to negotiations. Egypt’s blockade of Gaza has provoked international criticism. George Mitchell threatened Israel. The U.S. is maintaining Israel’s qualitative edge. The Israelis and the Palestinians share equal blame in creating recent obstacles to peace. Israel is an apartheid state. Israels Inclusion of Rachels Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs as Jewish Heritage Sites is an attack on Palestinian sovereignty and Islam. The re-dedication of the Hurva Synagogue is an affront to Palestinians. The Palestinian Authority promotes a culture of tolerance and peace. The flotilla bound for Gaza was on a humanitarian mission. The naval blockade of Gaza does not affect Hamas and only hurts innocent civilians. UNIFIL has kept the peace in southern Lebanon. Palestinian Authority leaders have a mandate from the people to pursue peace. Ending the moratorium on settlement construction is designed to torpedo peace negotiations. Renewed settlement construction in the West Bank proves Israel is uninterested in peace. Israel has instituted a racist loyalty oath requiring immigrants to pledge allegiance to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. The Palestinians can pressure Israel into negotiating on their terms by unilaterally declaring statehood.” Israel cannot be both a democratic state and a Jewish state. The UN helps preserve Jewish holy sites in the Palestinian Territories. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is a moderate interested in compromise. Israel is the only country in the Middle East that feels threatened by Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “Saudi Arabia is an ally of the West in the war on terror.” The viability of a future Palestinian state is severely hampered by the continued construction of Israeli settlements.” Israel illegally demolished a Palestinian national landmark in East Jerusalem.” Israel is required by international law to supply goods and services to Gaza – its blockade is collective punishment.” Israel must accept the demand of Palestinian refugees to ‘return’ in order for there to be peace.” The Egyptian revolution has no impact on Israel’s security. Turmoil in Egypt is a result of the failure to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. America’s veto of a UN Security Council resolution condemning settlements undermined peace talks. American media coverage of Israel is proportional with coverage given to the rest of the Middle East. ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ promotes peace. Palestinian terrorism is a byproduct of the ‘cycle of violence’ perpetuated by Israel. Israel unnecessarily maintains checkpoints to control and humiliate the Palestinians. Rockets shot from Gaza at southern Israel do not cause enough damage to justify military retaliation . Justice Goldstone remains convinced that Israel committed war crimes documented in the Goldstone Report. The Iron Dome Missile Defense System negates the need for Israel to engage in military operations against Hamas in Gaza The targeted assassination of terrorist leaders is a counterproductive military strategy Hamas-Fatah reconciliation paves the way to peace negotiations with Israel. Israel unjustly responded with violence to the protests of Nakba day. Israel must withdraw to the June 4, 1967 boundaries. “Gaza does not receive necessary humaitarian supplies due to Israel’s blockade.&l’s blockade.” “Palestinian protestors staged non-violents demonstrations on the Israeli-Syrian border.” “The ‘Flotilla 2′ is intended solely to relieve the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.” “The United Nations repudiated the claim that Israels naval blockade of Gaza is legal.” “A Unilateral Declaration of Independence is the Palestinians only avenue to advance the Peace Process.” “Palestinian leaders claim that the future Palestinian state will welcome Jews and Israelis.” “Mahmoud Abbas is working toward reaching peace with Israel.” “Due to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israel’s economy has been suffering.” – “Gaza does not receive necessary humaitarian supplies due to Israel’s blockade.” – “The ‘Flotilla 2′ is intended solely to relieve the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.” – “The United Nations repudiated the claim that Israels naval blockade of Gaza is legal.” – “A Unilateral Declaration of Independence is the Palestinians only avenue to advance the Peace Process.” – “Palestinian leaders claim that the future Palestinian state will welcome Jews and Israelis.” – “Mahmoud Abbas is working toward reaching peace with Israel.” – “Time is not on Iran’s side vis-a-vis its acquiring the atomic bomb.” – “Due to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israel’s economy has been suffering.” – “Of the Palestinian prisoners released in the Shalit deal, most who have spoken out say they will renounce terror.” – “Israel’s proposed rebuilding of the Mugrabi Gate leading to the Temple Mount is an act of religious war.” – “The Palestinian leadership wants to normalize ties with Israel.” – “The Palestinians agreed to negotiate with Israel without preconditions.” – “Palestinians terrorism is no longer a threat to Israel.” – “Israel no longer faces any threats from Gaza.” – “The rights of Palestinian women are protected in the Palestinian Authority.” – “Palestinians are talking about peace with Israelis in Jordan.” – “Terrorism against Jews is limited to attacks in Israel and the Palestinian territories.” – “Israeli democracy is threatened and Americans need to speak out to save it.” – “Iran is the only Muslim nation in the Middle East seeking to develop nuclear technology.” – “Women do not have equal rights in Israel.” – “Israel’s policy of targeted killings is immoral and counterproductive.” – “Israel does not support humanitarian development and sustainablity in the Palestinian territories.” – “Israel is whitewashing history to promote the judaization of Jerusalem.” – “The State Department knows the capital of Israel.” – “Israeli policy has caused an exodus of Christians from the West Bank.” – “The United States is committed to ensuring a complete halt to the Iranian nuclear program.” – “Israel’s new unity government reduces the prospect for continued peace negotiations with the Palestinians.” – “Palestinians no longer object to the creation of Israel.” – “Mahmoud Abbas has rooted out corruption from the Palestinian Authority.” – “The rise of Islamists in Egypt’s government does not pose a strategic threat to Israel.” – “The Palestinian Authority promotes a culture of tolerance and peace toward Israel.” – “Egyptian-Israeli security cooperation is at it weakest point in years.” – “Israel is culpable in the 2003 death of American activist Rachel Corrie.” – “Intelligence about Iran’s nuclear program may be as faulty as the information about Iraq’s.” – “We will know when Iran has a bomb and can take action at that time.” – “Iran should be allowed a nuclear weapon since Israel has one.” – “Anti-Semitism is on the decline around the world.” – “Iran does not believe it can win a nuclear war.” – “Iran wants to control its nuclear stockpile and would never give a bomb or nuclear material to terrorists.” – “We are seeing accurate media coverage from Gaza.” – “Israel is deliberately targeting the media.” – “Israel’s war in Gaza was immoral because more Palestinians died than Israelis.” – “The Israeli construction plan called the E1 project threatens the two-state solution and the contiguity of a future Palestinian state.” – “Israeli policies are obstructing peace.” – “If Iran has a bomb, it can be deterred the way the U.S. deterred the Soviet Union.” – “Israeli settlements are an obstacle to Mideast peace. – “The Palestinians are now ready to make peace with Israel. – “Attacking Iran will create more instability in the Middle East. – “If the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was solved, the Middle East would be at peace. – “Israel has created separate bus lines to segregate Jews and Palestinians. – “The European Union has no reason to name Hezbollah a terrorist organization. – “Non-lethal Palestinian rocket attacks have no impact on Israel’s civilian population. – “Israelis overreact to harmless rock-throwing by Palestinians. – “The Palestinian Authority is committed to reforming Palestinian society. – “Now is a good time to revive the Arab peace initiative. – “Syrias chemical weapons pose no threat outside of Syria. – “Israel has refused to discuss a compromise on the future of Jerusalem. – “′Nakba Day’ has nothing to do with the peace process. – “An Israeli attack on Iran would endanger U.S. interests in the Middle East. – “The United States helped Israel defeat the Arabs in six days in June 1967. – “The election of Hassan Rouhani eliminates the Iranian nuclear threat. – “The U.S. must be involved in any successful peace process between Israel and her neighbors. – “Israel ‘occupies’ the West Bank. – “Palestinian leaders enter peace talks with Israel sharing a common desire for democacy. – “Israel must make concessions for the peace process to succeed. – “Christians are a protected minority in the Middle East. – “Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is disinterested in peace with the Palestinians. – “Palestinians support the boycott and divestment movement against Israel. – “Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei issued a fatwa against producing nuclear weapons. – “Iran is isolated because of the international sanctions regime. – “Israel is responsible for expelling the Arabs of Palestine during the 1948 War of Independence. – “The Palestinians have made concessions to advance the peace process; Israel has remained uncompromising. – “A third intifada will erupt if Israel does not satisfy Palestinian demands. – “The negotiated compromise with Iran removes Tehran’s nuclear weapons threat. – “The Iranian government is committed to fulfilling the terms it agreed to in the Geneva nuclear deal“


The Palestinian Authority held a free, democratic election in 2005. top


Elections are not synonymous with democracy. Several Arab countries hold elections, including Egypt and Syria, but they have only one candidate, and there is no doubt about the outcome. The dictators are always reelected with nearly 100 percent of the vote. In those nations, no one seriously claims the elections are democratic.

In the case of the Palestinian Authority (PA) elections held in January 2005, the standards were higher. These were advertised as an example of democracy and, compared to other Arab states, the voting was a considerable advancement toward free elections.

Still, the election could hardly be called competitive as the outcome was never in doubt. Seven candidates ran for president, but the only question was the size of Mahmoud Abbas margin of victory. He won with 62.3 percent of the vote. His nearest challenger was Mustafa Barghouti with 19.8 percent.1

The election had a much lower turnout than expected (62 percent), and supporters of the Islamic terrorist organizations largely boycotted the vote, as did Arabs living in east Jerusalem. Thus, Abbas was conservatively estimated by al-Jazeera to have received the support of only about one-third of the eligible voters.2

The election process went smoothly and, despite Palestinian predictions of Israeli interference, international observers reported that Palestinians were not obstructed by Israel from participating in the election. In fact, Palestinian and Israeli officials were said to have worked well together to facilitate voting.3

Free elections can only take place in societies in which people are free to express their opinions without fear.

Natan Sharansky4

Immediately after the election, however, 46 officials from the PA Central Election Committee resigned, confirming suspicions of voting irregularities and fraud. The Committee had come under pressure from Abbas staff to extend the vote by an additional two hours and to allow non-registered voters to cast ballots to guarantee a larger turnout and improve Abbas chance of a landslide victory.

The day of the election, gunmen stormed the Committee offices to demand that Palestinians who were not registered be allowed to vote. The deputy chairman of the Committee, Ammar Dwaik, said he was personally threatened and pressured and confirmed that some voters were able to remove from their thumbs the ink that was supposed to prevent double voting.5

While Abbas is now seen as a legitimately elected leader by most Palestinians and the international community, the PA has no history of democratic institutions, so it remains in doubt whether the various terrorist groups will also accept his leadership, and whether the security services will enforce the presidents will.

Natan Sharansky observed that It is important that these elections took place, because it important that the new leadership comes, or will come, not through violence. That can be the beginning of the process of democracy.6 To move closer to true democracy, Abbas will also have to remove his predecessors restrictions on the freedoms of speech, religion, assembly, and the press. Then perhaps the next election will be truly free and democratic.


Israel is building the security fence as part of a land grab to control the West Bank and prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state. top


The purpose of the security fence is the prevention of terror. Its route has been carefully plotted to maximize the security it provides to the citizens of Israel and minimize the inconvenience and harm to Palestinians. The route of the fence must take into account topography, population density, and threat assessment of each area. To be effective in protecting the maximum number of Israelis, it also must incorporate the largest communities in the West Bank.

After the Israeli Supreme Court ruled the government had to more carefully balance security concerns and harm to the Palestinians, the route of the fence was adjusted to run closer to the Green Line. When completed, the fence will now incorporate just 7 percent of the West Bank less than 160 square miles on its Israeli side, while 2,100 square miles will be on the Palestinian side.

If and when the Palestinians decide to negotiate an end to the conflict, the fence may be torn down or moved. Even without any change, a Palestinian state could now theoretically be created in 93 percent of the West Bank (and the PA will control 100 percent of the Gaza Strip after the disengagement is complete). This is very close to the 97 percent Israel offered to the Palestinians at Camp David in 2000, which means that while other difficult issues remain to be resolved, the territorial aspect of the dispute will be reduced to a negotiation over roughly 90 square miles.


The demographic threat to Israel posed by Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza is overrated and therefore Israel need not make territorial compromises. top


A study was recently published that suggested the assumption that Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza pose a demographic threat to Israel has been exaggerated because the actual population in the territories is significantly lower than what is reported by Palestinian Authority (PA) officials. According to a study by a team of independent researchers, the 2004 Palestinian-Arab population was closer to 2.4 million than to the 3.8 million cited by the PA.7

The independent study comes up with its figures largely by deconstructing PA statistics, but Israel’s leading demographer, Professor Sergio DellaPergola of Hebrew University, has challenged the result, saying his estimate of 3.4 million Palestinians is based on Israeli data (the CIA estimates the population for the West Bank and Gaza at 3.6 million). According to DellaPergola, 4.7 million Arabs now live between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River out of a total of 10,263,000. The Jewish proportion of this total is 51 percent. DellaPergola argues that because of the higher rate of birth in the Arab community, they have the demographic momentum, and that by 2020, the proportion of Jews is likely to drop to 47 percent and could fall to 37 percent by 2050.8

Even if the new study is more accurate, it only has a minimal impact on the demographic reality. According to Israeli census figures, the population of Israel today is approximately 6.8 million. If we add the 2.4 million Arabs the new study says live in the territories, the total population from the river to the sea would be 9.2 million (including about 1.3 million Israeli Arabs). The Jewish population is roughly 5.2 million or 57 percent, slightly better than DellaPergolas estimate of 51 percent.

These overall statistics also distort the debate over the disengagement from Gaza where the demographic picture is crystal clear. According to the new study, the Arab population there is more than 1.07. The Jewish population, according to the State Department, prior to the evacuation was 7,500, which means the the percentage of Jews in Gaza was a fraction of 1 percent.

The independent study focuses solely on discrediting the PA statistics and does not address the crucial issue of future trends, which DellaPergola shows are clearly in the Arabs favor. The new report argues that the growth rates in Israel and the territories have been lower than previously forecast (though they use figures for only the last four years), but even the new figures show that the growth rate for the Arabs remains higher than that of the Jews, so the proportion of Jews should continue to decline.

Recent data from the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics suggests the situation may be even worse. The Bureau said that the proportion of Jews within the current borders of Israel is expected to decline from the present figure of 78 percent to 70 percent in 2025 because of the higher birth rate among Israeli Arabs. According to Industry and Trade Ministry data released in March 2007, Jewish women in Israel on average have 2.69 children each and give birth to the first at age 30. Muslim women have an average of four children and give birth to the first at age 27.9

Many proponents of territorial compromise argue that these demographic trends make it impossible for Israel to remain both a Jewish and democratic state if it holds onto the West Bank and Gaza. If a majority of the population of Israel, or even a significant minority, were non-Jews, then the Jewish character of the state would likely change. In fact, the new report states that As in 1967, Israel faces a very real issue on the status of a large minority population in the West Bank and Gaza (emphasis in the original). Extremists have suggested that non-Jews could be prohibited from voting, but this would make the state undemocratic. Since no Israeli leader even those labeled as right-wing fanatics who dream of Greater Israel have found a way to square this circle, Israel has never annexed the West Bank and Gaza. And now one of those hardliners, Ariel Sharon, was moved by the demographic reality to initiate the disengagement plan.

Many people argue that it is impossible to predict the future, and that most past projections were proven inaccurate. Earlier doomsday predictions were upset by large influxes of immigrants, and many Israelis still believe this will be their demographic salvation. After more than one million Jews from the former Soviet Union arrived in the 1990s, this view was temporarily vindicated, however, there only about 8 million Jews in the entire world outside Israel, and a large number would have to decide to move to Israel to offset the demographic trend. This is especially unlikely given that roughly 75 percent of the Jews outside Israel live in the United States from which very few emigrate.

The demographic issue is still only one variable in the Israeli political calculus related to territorial compromise. The other principal concerns are whether Israel can have greater peace and security without controlling some or all of the territories. That is a matter of great debate within Israel. For now, the majority of Israelis have come to the conclusion that withdrawal from Gaza and part of Samaria is in Israels best interest.


Israel is killing Palestinians with radiation spy machines. top


Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels was the master of the big lie tactic in which a lie, no matter how outrageous, is repeated often enough that it will eventually be accepted as truth. It is a propaganda tool the Palestinians have repeatedly tried to use to tar Israel. Past examples have included specious claims that Israel massacred 500 people at Jenin,10 infects Palestinians with the AIDS virus,11 and drops poison candy for children in Gaza from airplanes.12

The latest calumny from the Palestinians is the claim that Israel is using a radial spy machine at checkpoints, and that the device killed a 55-year-old Palestinian woman.13The charge is apparently related to the Palestinian Authoritys decision to close a checkpoint on their side of the border in Gaza to protest Israels use of advanced radio-wave machines for searching Palestinian travelers.14

The device is the SafeView Millimeter Wave Radar, an American-made portal system that uses millimeter a safe wave holographic technology to screen travelers from Egypt for weapons and explosives. Unlike metal detectors, this system is capable of detecting virtually any man-made object, regardless of the type of material, by transmitting ultra-high frequency, low-powered radio frequency waves as people pass through the portal. The waves penetrate clothing and reflect off of the persons skin and any items being carried. A sensor array captures the reflected waves and uses a desktop computer to analyze the information and produce a high-resolution, 3-D image from the signals.15

Since the allegation is coming from the official Palestinian media, it represents a violation of the Palestinian Authoritys commitment to end incitement against Israel.


Unlike other Arab women, Palestinian women are not killed for dishonoring their families. top


Maher Shakirat learned that one of his sisters was thrown out of the house by her husband for an alleged affair. Shakirat strangled his sister, who was eight months pregnant, and forced two other sisters he accused of covering up the affair to drink bleach. One of those was badly injured but escaped, but the third sister was also strangled by her brother.

Palestinian women who bring dishonor to their families may be punished by male family members. The punishments may range from ostracism and abandonment to physical abuse to murder. Honor killings may be carried out for instances of rape, infidelity, flirting or any other action seen as disgracing the family. By killing the woman, the familys name in the community is restored.

Women are usually not allowed to defend themselves; they are considered minors under the authority of male relatives, and may be killed based on a family members suspicions. An allegation of misbehavior is sufficient to defile a mans or familys honor and justify the killing of the woman. Men who carry out these murders in the Palestinian Authority typically go unpunished or receive a maximum of six months in prison.16

Because these crimes often go unreported, it is difficult to determine the actual number of victims in honor killings, but the Palestinian Authoritys womens affairs ministry reported that 20 women were murdered in honor killings in 2005, 15 survived murder attempts, and approximately 50 committed suicide, often under coercion, for shaming the family.17

According to a June 2005 poll, 24% of Palestinians said that if a family discovered that one of its daughters was involved in a case of family disgrace (e.g., adultery), the family should kill the daughter to remove the disgrace.18


Israel has moved the border so it will not withdraw completely from the Gaza Strip. top


Mohammed Dahlan, the Palestinian Authoritys Minister of Civil Affairs, has claimed that Israel moved the northern border of the Gaza Strip about 1.2 miles, and that Israel’s disengagement will not be complete unless it withdraws to the 1949 armistice lines.19 By suggesting that Israel is holding onto a piece of Gaza, the Palestinians are threatening to create a Shebaa Farms issue that could undercut the prospects for peace created by Israel’s courageous decision to evacuate all its citizens and soldiers from the area.

Substantively, Dahlans claim is inaccurate. The border of Gaza was originally determined during the 1949 Rhodes Armistice negotiations with Egypt. A year later, Israel agreed to move the border southeast, creating a bulge in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. In exchange, Egypt redrew the border in the north, moving it more than a mile southwest. According to Israel’s National Security Council chief, Giora Eiland, the border was reconfirmed in the Oslo accords.20 Today, Netiv Haasara, a community of 125 families, many of which were evacuated from settlements in the Sinai as part of the peace treaty with Egypt, is located in the area Dahlan wants included in Gaza.

In the case of Shebaa Farms, the Lebanese terrorist group, Hizballah, has speciously maintained that Israel did not fully withdraw from Lebanon, despite the UN’s verification that it has, and used Israels presence in the Shebaa Farms area as the pretext for continuing its terror campaign against Israel. If the Palestinians adopt a similar policy toward the sliver of land they claim to be part of Gaza to perpetuate their image as victims, and to try to win propaganda points by claiming to still be under occupation, they will once again demonstrate that they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

If the Palestinians continue terrorist attacks against Israel, and make claims to additional territory, rather than focusing on state-building within Gaza and meeting their road map obligations, Israel will have little interest in pursuing negotiations regarding the West Bank.


Hamas should be permitted to participate in Palestinian Authority elections. top


The second Oslo agreement (Oslo II) between Israel and the Palestinian Authority prohibits the nomination of any candidates, parties or coalitions that commit or advocate racism or pursue the implementation of their aims by unlawful or non-democratic means (Annex II, Article II).21 Under this agreement, Hamas, a terrorist organization responsible for the deaths of thousands of Israelis and Palestinians alike, cannot legally participate in Palestinian national elections. The Covenant of Hamas says nothing about democracy or elections. It does say that when enemies (the Jews) usurp some Islamic lands, Jihad becomes a duty binding on all Muslims. In order to face the usurpation of Palestine by the Jews, we have no escape from raising the banner of Jihad.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has warned that Israel will not cooperate with the Palestinian Authority during elections if candidates from Hamas are allowed to participate. An armed organization doesn’t become democratic once they participate in the election, Sharon said.22

Yossi Beilin, the leader of the Meretz-Yahad Party, and one of the architects of the Oslo accords, said that recognizing Hamas as a legitimate political entity is a gross violation of the Israeli-Palestinian interim agreement, and that in the global struggle against terrorism, it would be surprising indeed if Israel, paradoxically, were to acquiesce in the legitimization of a terrorist organization under its very nose.23

The United States has left it up to the Palestinians to decide who can participate in the Palestinian Legislative Council; however, National Security Council spokesperson Frederick L. Jones II said the U.S. would never have diplomatic relations with candidates from a terrorist organization.We do not believe that a democratic state can be built when parties or candidates seek power not through the ballot box but through terrorist activity, Jones said.24


Israel’s disengagement from Gaza was a victory for terror. top


Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank was applauded by the international community as an important and painful step toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Even the United Nations, which rarely has anything positive to say about Israel, praised the determination and political courage shown by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon25 in implementing the disengagement plan peacefully and successfully.

In an effort to bolster their standing with the Palestinian public, groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad claim it was their terror campaign that forced Israel to withdraw.26 In fact, the terrorist groups did nothing but bring death and destruction to the people of Israel and their fellow Palestinians. Israel was not driven from the territories, it made a calculated decision to leave based on its own interests.

The 8,000 civilians who lived in Gaza were viewed by the terrorists as targets, and Israel had to devote a great deal of its human and material resources to protect these innocent people. In addition, Sharon agreed with those who concluded it would make no sense for Israel to hold on to an area with a Palestinian population exceeding one million. By withdrawing, Israel’s security has been enhanced, and the Palestinians have been given the opportunity to govern themselves and demonstrate whether they are able and willing to create a democratic society that can coexist with Israel.

At the time of the disengagement, Israel had dramatically reduced the level of terror, and the security fence around Gaza had a nearly perfect record of preventing the infiltration of suicide bombers. Israeli forces had severely damaged the terrorist infrastructure and killed or jailed most of the leaders of the major terror groups. The disengagement took place after Israel won the Palestinian War the Palestinian Authority had instigated in 2000, and the withdrawal took place from a position of strength, not weakness.

Palestinian extremists can claim whatever they want, but even they know the truth. As Zakariya Zubeidi, the leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade terrorist group observed, Not only was the intifada a failure, but we are a total failure. We achieved nothing in 50 years of struggle; we’ve achieved only our survival.27

And the Palestinian people are not fooled by the rhetoric of the terrorists, as is evident by this comment by Mohammed Ahmed Moussa, a grocer in Jabaliya, who said, Let’s be frank. If Israel didn’t want to leave Gaza, no one could have forced them out. Those who claim the rockets and attacks made them leave are kidding themselves.28


Israel is obstructing Palestinian elections. top


Israel is a democracy and believes in free elections as the best means of insuring representative government. Consequently, Israel has been supportive of the idea of democratic elections in the Palestinian Authority. In the 2005 presidential election, international observers reported that Israel made no effort to impede the vote. To the contrary, it took a number of measures to facilitate the election.

Similarly, Israel has no intention of interfering in the upcoming legislative elections in the PA. While there is some dispute about whether and how Palestinians living in Jerusalem may participate, a similar issue was resolved before the last election.

The Jerusalem issue, however, is being used as a smokescreen by the Palestinians to obscure their internal divisions. Palestinian officials have been talking for months about delaying the elections scheduled for January 25 because of chaos and disorder throughout the PA, and because of fears that they will lose power and that Hamas will take seats from the dominant Fatah party.

Many Palestinians also legitimately fear the election will not be fair. With just three weeks to go before the election, the Palestinian election commission resigned because the commissioners said Prime Minister Ahmed Korei was interfering with their work. After the last election, 46 officials from the PA Central Election Committee resigned to protest voting irregularities and fraud.

The problem for the PA today is not any Israeli interference in their affairs, it is the Wild West climate that now dominates the Gaza Strip and much of the West Bank. So long as the PA is unable to insure the safety of its residents, it will be unable to hold a free democratic election.


Academic freedom means any criticism of Israel is permissible in a university. top


The one place in America where anti-Semitism is still tolerated is in the university, where academic freedom is often used as a cover to sanction anti-Israel teachings and forums that are anti-Semitic.

In an address on the subject of academic freedom, Columbia President Lee Bollinger quoted from a report that described a professor as someone whom no fair-minded person would even suspect of speaking other than as shaped or restricted by the judgement . . . of professional scholars. He also spoke about the need for faculty to resist the allure of certitude, the temptation to use the podium as an ideological platform, to indoctrinate a captive audience, to play favorites with the like-minded, and silence the others.

Many faculty, however, do not resist temptation; rather, they embrace their position as an ideological platform. Those who abuse their rights, and insist they can say what they want, hypocritically denounce others who exercise their right to criticize them. To suggest that a professors views are inappropriate, or their scholarship is faulty, is to risk being tarred with the charge of McCarthyism.

Legality is not the issue in evaluating the anti-Israel, sometimes anti-Semitic speeches and teachings of faculty and speakers on campus. No one questions that freedom of speech allows individuals to express their views. The issue is whether this type of speech should be given the cover of academic freedom, and granted legitimacy by the university through funding, publicity or use of facilities.

For the last several years, for example, an anti-Semitic forum has been held at different universities by the Palestine Solidarity Movement (PSM). In 2004, the conference was held at Duke University. Organizers were asked to sign an innocuous statement before the event calling for a civil debate that would condemn the murder of innocent civilians, support a two-state solution and recognize the difference between disagreement and hate speech, but refused to do so. By hosting a group that could not bring itself to object to the murder of Jews, Duke gave their views legitimacy and tarnished the universitys academic reputation. The 2006 PSM conference is being held at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

It is sometimes suggested critics seek to stifle legitimate criticism of Israel. There is a clear distinction, however, between criticism of Israeli policy, which you can read in any Israeli newspaper, and anti-Semitism, in which the attacks against Israel challenge its right to exist, or single Israel out among all other nations for special treatment, as in the case of the PSMs call for the end to Israeli occupation in all of Palestine and divestment from Israel.

A related question is whether the presentations are in any way academic or scholarly. Few people would claim that a conference in which anti-black, anti-gay, or anti-woman sentiments were expressed would be protected by academic freedom, and yet that is the shield used to permit attacks on the Jewish people.

Palestine means Palestine in its entirety – from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River, from Ras Al-Naqura to Rafah. We cannot give up a single inch of it. Therefore, we will not recognize the Israeli enemy’s [right] to a single inch.

Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar29


The Palestinian Authority held a democratic election and Israel and the rest of the world must accept that Hamas was the victor. top


Winston Churchill said that Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried. It was a step forward, then, for the authoritarian Palestinian Authority to hold elections that by all accounts were conducted fairly. Nevertheless, so long as the Palestinian people continue to be denied by their leaders the freedoms of speech, religion, assembly and the press, the election cannot be considered truly free and democratic.

While democratic outcomes are preferable to the alternatives, the rest of the world is not obligated to have a relationship with elected leaders whose policies and views are dangerous. Adolf Hitler was elected by the German people, but few people would suggest today that the rest of the world should have ignored his genocidal views and treated him as an equal just because he emerged from a democratic process. Similarly, the current Iranian president was elected and is still widely viewed as a pariah because of his threats to destroy Israel and to pursue nuclear weapons in defiance of the rest of the world.

The Palestinian people chose to elect members of an organization whose avowed purpose is the destruction of Israel by violent means. Hamas is recognized throughout the world as a terrorist organization. Since the election, Hamas leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to the Hamas covenant calling for the liberation of all of Palestine and they have made clear it they have no intention of disarming.

Israel now has on its borders a quasi government run by people who oppose negotiations and compromise. Hamas can now take over all of the security services and weapons that have previously been given by Israel and others to the Palestinian Authority to keep the peace. The institutions that were bound by agreements to stop the violence, confiscate illegal weapons, end smuggling and cease incitement are now controlled by the very people most responsible for terror, gun running, and the use of the media and schools to demonize Israel and Jews.

Most of the world understands that Hamas is not a partner for peace and that it is a terrorist group that threatens the stability of the region. The United States and other countries rightly have said that it must recognize Israel and renounce terror before any diplomatic or economic support can be given to the PA. Of course, we went through a similar exercise in 1993 when similar demands were made of the PLO. Yasser Arafat made the necessary commitments in a letter to then Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, but he never matched the words with deeds. The world will be wise not to make the same mistake with Hamas.

Originally posted here:
Myths & Facts: Archived Online Exclusive | Jewish Virtual …

American Jews – Wikipedia

American Jews Total population


American Jews, also known as Jewish Americans,[5] are Americans who are Jews, either by religion, ethnicity, or nationality.[6] The Jewish community in the United States is composed predominantly of Ashkenazi Jews and their US-born descendants, making up about 90% of the American Jewish population.[7][8] Minority Jewish ethnic divisions are also represented, including Sephardic Jews, Mizrahi Jews, and a smaller percentage of converts to Judaism. The American Jewish community manifests a wide range of Jewish cultural traditions, as well as encompassing the full spectrum of Jewish religious observance.

Depending on religious definitions and varying population data, the United States is home to the largest or second largest (after Israel) Jewish community in the world. In 2012, the American Jewish population was estimated at between 5.5 and 8 million, depending on the definition of the term. This constitutes between 1.7% and 2.6% of the total U.S. population.[1]

Jews have been present in what is today the United States of America since the mid-17th century.[9][10] However, they were small in number, with at most 200 to 300 having arrived by 1700.[11] The majority were Sephardic Jewish immigrants of Spanish and Portuguese ancestry;[12] until after 1720 when Ashkenazi Jews from Central and Eastern Europe predominated.[11]

After passage of the Plantation Act of 1740, Jews were specifically permitted to become British citizens and immigrate to the colonies. Despite some being denied the ability to vote or hold office in local jurisdictions, Sephardic Jews became active in community affairs in the 1790s, after achieving political equality in the five states where they were most numerous.[13] Until about 1830, Charleston, South Carolina had more Jews than anywhere else in North America. Large scale Jewish immigration, however, did not commence until the 19th century, when, by mid-century, many Ashkenazi Jews had arrived from Germany, migrating to the United States in large numbers due to antisemitic laws and restrictions in their countries of birth.[14] They primarily became merchants and shop-owners. There were approximately 250,000 Jews in the United States by 1880, many of them being the educated, and largely secular, German Jews, although a minority population of the older Sephardic Jewish families remained influential.

Jewish migration to the United States increased dramatically in the early 1880s, as a result of persecution and economic difficulties in parts of Eastern Europe. Most of these new immigrants were Yiddish-speaking Ashkenazi Jews, though most came from the poor rural populations of the Russian Empire and the Pale of Settlement, located in modern-day Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova. During the same period, great numbers of Ashkenazi Jews also arrived also from Galicia, at that time the most impoverished region of Austro-Hungarian empire with heavy Jewish urban population, driven out mainly by economic reasons. Many Jews also emigrated from Romania. Over 2,000,000 Jews landed between the late 19th century and 1924, when the Immigration Act of 1924 restricted immigration. Most settled in the New York metropolitan area, establishing the world’s major concentrations of Jewish population. In 1915 the circulation of the daily Yiddish newspapers was half a million in New York City alone, and 600,000 nationally. In addition thousands more subscribed to the numerous weekly papers and the many magazines.[15]

At the beginning of the 20th century, these newly arrived Jews built support networks consisting of many small synagogues and Ashkenazi Jewish Landsmannschaften (German for “Countryman Associations”) for Jews from the same town or village. American Jewish writers of the time urged assimilation and integration into the wider American culture, and Jews quickly became part of American life. 500,000 American Jews (or half of all Jewish males between 18 and 50) fought in World War II, and after the war younger families joined the new trend of suburbanization. There, Jews became increasingly assimilated and demonstrated rising intermarriage. The suburbs facilitated the formation of new centers, as Jewish school enrollment more than doubled between the end of World War II and the mid-1950s, while synagogue affiliation jumped from 20% in 1930 to 60% in 1960; the fastest growth came in Reform and, especially, Conservative congregations.[16] More recent waves of Jewish emigration from Russia and other regions have largely joined the mainstream American Jewish community.

Americans of Jewish descent have been disproportionately successful in many fields and aspects over the years.[17][18] The Jewish community in America has gone from a lower class minority, with most studies putting upwards of 80% as manual factory laborers prior to World War I and with the majority of fields barred to them,[19] to the consistent richest or second richest ethnicity in America for the past 40 years in terms of average annual salary, with extremely high concentrations in academia and other fields, and today have the highest per capita income of any ethnic group in the United States, at around double the average income of non-Jewish Americans.[20][21][22]

Scholars debate whether the favorable historical experience for Jews in the United States has been such a unique experience as to validate American exceptionalism.[23]

Korelitz (1996) shows how American Jews during the late 19th and early 20th centuries abandoned a racial definition of Jewishness in favor of one that embraced ethnicity. The key to understanding this transition from a racial self-definition to a cultural or ethnic one can be found in the Menorah Journal between 1915 and 1925. During this time contributors to the Menorah promoted a cultural, rather than a racial, religious, or other view of Jewishness as a means to define Jews in a world that threatened to overwhelm and absorb Jewish uniqueness. The journal represented the ideals of the menorah movement established by Horace M. Kallen and others to promote a revival in Jewish cultural identity and combat the idea of race as a means to define or identify peoples.[24]

Siporin (1990) uses the family folklore of ethnic Jews to their collective history and its transformation into an historical art form. They tell us how Jews have survived being uprooted and transformed. Many immigrant narratives bear a theme of the arbitrary nature of fate and the reduced state of immigrants in a new culture. By contrast, ethnic family narratives tend to show the ethnic more in charge of his life, and perhaps in danger of losing his Jewishness altogether. Some stories show how a family member successfully negotiated the conflict between ethnic and American identities.[25]

After 1960, memories of the Holocaust, together with the Six Day War in 1967 had major impacts on fashioning Jewish ethnic identity. Some have argued that the Holocaust provided Jews with a rationale for their ethnic distinction at a time when other minorities were asserting their own.[26][27][28]

In New York City, while the German Jewish community was well established ‘uptown’, the more numerous Jews who migrated from Eastern Europe faced tension ‘downtown’ with Irish and German Catholic neighbors, especially the Irish Catholics who controlled Democratic Party Politics[30]at the time. Jews successfully established themselves in the garment trades and in the needle unions in New York. By the 1930s they were a major political factor in New York, with strong support for the most liberal programs of the New Deal. They continued as a major element of the New Deal Coalition, giving special support to the Civil Rights Movement. By the mid-1960s, however, the Black Power movement caused a growing separation between blacks and Jews, though both groups remained solidly in the Democratic camp.[31]

While earlier Jewish immigrants from Germany tended to be politically conservative, the wave of Jews from Eastern Europe starting in the early 1880s, were generally more liberal or left wing and became the political majority.[32] Many came to America with experience in the socialist, anarchist and communist movements as well as the Labor Bund, emanating from Eastern Europe. Many Jews rose to leadership positions in the early 20th century American labor movement and helped to found unions that played a major role in left wing politics and, after 1936, in Democratic Party politics.[32]

Although American Jews generally leaned Republican in the second half of the 19th century, the majority has voted Democratic since at least 1916, when they voted 55% for Woodrow Wilson.[29]

With the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt, American Jews voted more solidly Democratic. They voted 90% for Roosevelt in the elections of 1940, and 1944, representing the highest of support, only equaled once since. In the election of 1948, Jewish support for Democrat Harry S. Truman dropped to 75%, with 15% supporting the new Progressive Party.[29] As a result of lobbying, and hoping to better compete for the Jewish vote, both major party platforms had included a pro-Zionist plank since 1944,[33][34] and supported the creation of a Jewish state; it had little apparent effect however, with 90% still voting other-than Republican. In every election since, except for 1980, no Democratic presidential candidate has won with less than 67% of the Jewish vote. (In 1980, Carter won 45% of the Jewish vote. See below.)

During the 1952 and 1956 elections, they voted 60% or more for Democrat Adlai Stevenson, while General Eisenhower garnered 40% for his reelection; the best showing to date for the Republicans since Harding’s 43% in 1920.[29] In 1960, 83% voted for Democrat John F. Kennedy against Richard Nixon, and in 1964, 90% of American Jews voted for Lyndon Johnson, over his Republican opponent, arch-conservative Barry Goldwater. Hubert Humphrey garnered 81% of the Jewish vote in the 1968 elections, in his losing bid for president against Richard Nixon.[29]

During the Nixon re-election campaign of 1972, Jewish voters were apprehensive about George McGovern and only favored the Democrat by 65%, while Nixon more than doubled Republican Jewish support to 35%. In the election of 1976, Jewish voters supported Democrat Jimmy Carter by 71% over incumbent president Gerald Ford’s 27%, but during the Carter re-election campaign of 1980, Jewish voters greatly abandoned the Democrat, with only 45% support, while Republican winner, Ronald Reagan, garnered 39%, and 14% went to independent (former Republican) John Anderson.[29][35] Many American Jews disagreed with the Middle East policies of the Carter administration.[citation needed]

During the Reagan re-election campaign of 1984, the Republican retained 31% of the Jewish vote, while 67% voted for Democrat Walter Mondale. The 1988 election saw Jewish voters favor Democrat Michael Dukakis by 64%, while George H. W. Bush polled a respectable 35%, but during Bush’s re-election attempt in 1992, his Jewish support dropped to just 11%, with 80% voting for Bill Clinton and 9% going to independent Ross Perot. Clinton’s re-election campaign in 1996 maintained high Jewish support at 78%, with 16% supporting Robert Dole and 3% for Perot.[29][35]

In the 2000 presidential election, Joe Lieberman was the first American Jew to run for national office on a major party ticket when he was chosen as Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore’s vice-presidential nominee. The elections of 2000 and 2004 saw continued Jewish support for Democrats Al Gore and John Kerry, a Catholic, remain in the high- to mid-70% range, while Republican George W. Bush’s re-election in 2004 saw Jewish support rise from 19% to 24%.[35][36]

In the 2008 presidential election, 78% of Jews voted for Barack Obama, who became the first African-American to be elected president.[37] Additionally, 83% of Jews voted for Obama compared to just 34% of white Protestants and 47% of white Catholics, though 67% of those identifying with another religion and 71% identifying with no religion also voted Obama.[38]

In the February 2016 New Hampshire Democratic Primary, Bernie Sanders became the first Jewish candidate to win a state’s Presidential primary election.[39]

As American Jews have progressed economically over time, some commentators[citation needed] have wondered why Jews remain so firmly Democratic and have not shifted political allegiances to the center or right in the way other groups who have advanced economically, such as Hispanics and Arab-Americans, have.[40]

For congressional and senate races, since 1968, American Jews have voted about 7080% for Democrats;[41] this support increased to 87% for Democratic House candidates during the 2006 elections.[42]

The first American Jew to serve in the Senate was David Levy Yulee, who was Florida’s first Senator, serving 18451851 and again 18551861.

In the 114th Congress, there are 10 Jews[43] among 100 U.S. Senators: nine Democrats (Michael Bennet, Richard Blumenthal, Barbara Boxer, Benjamin Cardin, Dianne Feinstein, Al Franken, Carl Levin, Charles Schumer, Ron Wyden), and Bernie Sanders, who became a Democrat to run for President but returned to the Senate as an Independent.[44]

In the 114th Congress, there are 19 Jewish U.S. Representatives.[43] There were 27 Jews among the 435 U.S. Representatives at the start of the 112th Congress;[45] 26 Democrats and one (Eric Cantor) Republican. While many of these Members represented coastal cities and suburbs with significant Jewish populations, others did not (for instance, Gabrielle Giffords of Tucson, Arizona; John Yarmuth of Louisville, Kentucky; Jared Polis of Boulder, Colorado; and Steve Cohen of Memphis, Tennessee). The total number of Jews serving in the House of Representatives declined from 31 in the 111th Congress.[46]John Adler of New Jersey, Steve Kagan of Wisconsin, Alan Grayson of Florida, and Ron Klein of Florida all lost their re-election bids, Rahm Emanuel resigned to become the President’s Chief of Staff; and Paul Hodes of New Hampshire did not run for re-election but instead (unsuccessfully) sought his state’s open Senate seat. David Cicilline of Rhode Island was the only Jewish American who was newly elected to the 112th Congress; he had been the Mayor of Providence. The number declined when Jane Harman, Anthony Weiner, and Gabrielle Giffords resigned during the 112th Congress.

As of January 2014[update], there are five openly gay men serving in Congress and two are Jewish: Jared Polis of Colorado and David Cicilline of Rhode Island.

In November 2008, Cantor was elected as the House Minority Whip, the first Jewish Republican to be selected for the position.[47] In 2011, he became the first Jewish House Majority Leader. He served as Majority Leader until 2014, when he resigned shortly after his loss in the Republican primary election for his House seat.

American Jews have historically been prominent participants in civil rights movements. In the mid-20th century, American Jews were among the most active participants in the Civil Rights Movement and feminist movements. American Jews have also since its founding been largely supportive of and active figures in the struggle for gay rights in America.

Seymour Siegel suggests that the historic struggle against prejudice faced by Jews led to a natural sympathy for any people confronting discrimination. Joachim Prinz, president of the American Jewish Congress, stated the following when he spoke from the podium at the Lincoln Memorial during the famous March on Washington on August 28, 1963: “As Jews we bring to this great demonstration, in which thousands of us proudly participate, a twofold experienceone of the spirit and one of our history. … From our Jewish historic experience of three and a half thousand years we say: Our ancient history began with slavery and the yearning for freedom. During the Middle Ages my people lived for a thousand years in the ghettos of Europe. … It is for these reasons that it is not merely sympathy and compassion for the black people of America that motivates us. It is, above all and beyond all such sympathies and emotions, a sense of complete identification and solidarity born of our own painful historic experience.”[48][49]

During the World War II period, the American Jewish community was bitterly and deeply divided and was unable to form a common front. Most Jews from Eastern Europe favored Zionism, which saw a return to their historical homeland as the only solution; this had the effect of diverting attention from the persecution of Jews in Germany. German Jews were alarmed at the Nazis but were disdainful of Zionism. Proponents of a Jewish state and Jewish army agitated, but many leaders were so fearful of an antisemitic backlash inside the U.S. that they demanded that all Jews keep a low public profile. One important development was the sudden conversion of most (but not all) Jewish leaders to Zionism late in the war.[50]The Holocaust was largely ignored by American media as it was happening. Reporters and editors largely did not believe the atrocity stories coming out of Europe.[51]

The Holocaust had a profound impact on the community in the United States, especially after 1960, as Jews tried to comprehend what had happened, and especially to commemorate and grapple with it when looking to the future. Abraham Joshua Heschel summarized this dilemma when he attempted to understand Auschwitz: “To try to answer is to commit a supreme blasphemy. Israel enables us to bear the agony of Auschwitz without radical despair, to sense a ray [of] God’s radiance in the jungles of history.”[52]

Jews began taking a special interest in Jewish international affairs in the late 19th century; for example, poet Emma Lazarus wrote poems against the pogroms in Eastern and Central Europe in the 1870s. Jews focused on the pogroms in Imperial Russia and restrictions on immigration in the 1920s. Jews have also shown interest in affairs unrelated to Jewish causes throughout their time in the United States. Zionism became a well-organized movement in the U.S. with the involvement of leaders such as Louis Brandeis and the British promise of a homeland in the Balfour Declaration of 1917.[53] Jewish Americans organized large-scale boycotts of German merchandise during the 1930s to protest Nazi rule in Germany. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s leftist domestic policies received strong Jewish support in the 1930s and 1940s, as did his anti-Nazi foreign policy and his promotion of the United Nations. Support for political Zionism in this period, although growing in influence, remained a distinctly minority opinion among German Jews until about 194445, when the early rumors and reports of the systematic mass murder of the Jews in German-occupied Europe became publicly known with the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps. The founding of Israel in 1948 made the Middle East a center of attention; the recognition of Israel by the American government (following objections by American isolationists) was an indication of both its intrinsic support and influence.

This attention initially was based on a natural and religious affinity toward and support for Israel in the Jewish community. The attention is also because of the ensuing and unresolved conflicts regarding the founding of Israel and Zionism itself. A lively internal debate commenced, following the Six-Day War. The American Jewish community was divided over whether or not they agreed with the Israeli response; the great majority came to accept the war as necessary. A tension existed especially for some Jews on the left who saw Israel as too anti-Soviet and anti-Palestinian.[54] Similar tensions were aroused by the 1977 election of Menachem Begin and the rise of Revisionist policies, the 1982 Lebanon War and the continuing occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.[55] Disagreement over Israel’s 1993 acceptance of the Oslo Accords caused a further split among American Jews;[56] this mirrored a similar split among Israelis and led to a parallel rift within the pro-Israel lobby, and even ultimately to the United States for its “blind” support of Israel.[56] Abandoning any pretense of unity, both segments began to develop separate advocacy and lobbying organizations. The liberal supporters of the Oslo Accord worked through Americans for Peace Now (APN), Israel Policy Forum (IPF) and other groups friendly to the Labour government in Israel. They tried to assure Congress that American Jewry was behind the Accord and defended the efforts of the administration to help the fledgling Palestinian Authority (PA), including promises of financial aid. In a battle for public opinion, IPF commissioned a number of polls showing widespread support for Oslo among the community.

In opposition to Oslo, an alliance of conservative groups, such as the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), Americans For a Safe Israel (AFSI), and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) tried to counterbalance the power of the liberal Jews. On October 10, 1993, the opponents of the Palestinian-Israeli accord organized at the American Leadership Conference for a Safe Israel, where they warned that Israel was prostrating itself before “an armed thug”, and predicted and that the “thirteenth of September is a date that will live in infamy”. Some Zionists also criticized, often in harsh language, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, his foreign minister and chief architect of the peace accord. With the community so strongly divided, AIPAC and the Presidents Conference, which was tasked with representing the national Jewish consensus, struggled to keep the increasingly antagonistic discourse civil. Reflecting these tensions, Abraham Foxman from the Anti-Defamation League was asked by the conference to apologize for bad mouthing ZOA’s Morton Klein. The conference, which under its organizational guidelines was in charge of moderating communal discourse, reluctantly censured some Orthodox spokespeople for attacking Colette Avital, the Labor-appointed Israeli Consul General in New York and an ardent supporter of that version of a peace process.[57]

The Jewish population of the United States is either the largest in the world, or second to that of Israel, depending on the sources and methods used to measure it.

Precise population figures vary depending on whether Jews are accounted for based on halakhic considerations, or secular, political and ancestral identification factors. There were about 4 million adherents of Judaism in the U.S. as of 2001, approximately 1.4% of the US population. According to the Jewish Agency, for the year 2007 Israel is home to 5.4 million Jews (40.9% of the world’s Jewish population), while the United States contained 5.3 million (40.2%).[58]

In 2012, demographers estimated the core American Jewish population (including religious and non-religious) to be 5,425,000 (or 1.73% of the US population in 2012), citing methodological failures in the previous higher estimates.[59] Other sources say the number is around 6.5 million.

The American Jewish Yearbook population survey had placed the number of American Jews at 6.4 million, or approximately 2.1% of the total population. This figure is significantly higher than the previous large scale survey estimate, conducted by the 20002001 National Jewish Population estimates, which estimated 5.2 million Jews. A 2007 study released by the Steinhardt Social Research Institute (SSRI) at Brandeis University presents evidence to suggest that both of these figures may be underestimations with a potential 7.07.4 million Americans of Jewish descent.[60] Those higher estimates were however arrived at by including all non-Jewish family members and household members, rather than surveyed individuals.[59]

The population of Americans of Jewish descent is demographically characterized by an aging population composition and low fertility rates significantly below generational replacement.[59]

The Ashkenazi Jews, who are now the vast majority of American Jews, settled first in and around New York City; in recent decades many have moved to Miami, Los Angeles and other large metropolitan areas in the South and West. The metropolitan areas of New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami contain nearly one quarter of the world’s Jews.[61]

The National Jewish Population Survey of 1990 asked 4.5 million adult Jews to identify their denomination. The national total showed 38% were affiliated with the Reform tradition, 35% were Conservative, 6% were Orthodox, 1% were Reconstructionists, 10% linked themselves to some other tradition, and 10% said they are “just Jewish.”[62]

According to a study published by demographers and sociologists Ira Sheskin and Arnold Dashefsky, the distribution of the Jewish population in 2015 is as follows:[63]

Although the New York City metropolitan area is the second largest Jewish population center in the world (after the Tel Aviv metropolitan area in Israel),[61] the Miami metropolitan area has a slightly greater Jewish population on a per-capita basis (9.9% compared to metropolitan New York’s 9.3%). Several other major cities have large Jewish communities, including Los Angeles, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Philadelphia. In many metropolitan areas, the majority of Jewish families live in suburban areas. The Greater Phoenix area was home to about 83,000 Jews in 2002, and has been rapidly growing.[65] The greatest Jewish population on a per-capita basis for incorporated areas in the U.S. is Kiryas Joel Village, New York (greater than 93% based on language spoken in home),[66] City of Beverly Hills, California (61%),[67]Lakewood Township, New Jersey (59%),[68] two incorporated areas, Kiryas Joel and Lakewood, have a concentration of ultra-Orthodox Jews and one incorporated area, Beverly Hills, having a concentration of non-Orthodox Jews.

The phenomenon of Israeli migration to the U.S. is often termed Yerida. The Israeli immigrant community in America is less widespread. The significant Israeli immigrant communities in the United States are in Los Angeles, New York City, Miami, and Chicago.[69]

According to the 2001 undertaking of the National Jewish Population Survey, 4.3 million American Jews have some sort of strong connection to the Jewish community, whether religious or cultural.

According to the North American Jewish Data Bank[71] the 100 counties and independent cities as of 2011[update] with the largest Jewish communities, based by percentage of total population, were:

These parallel themes have facilitated the extraordinary economic, political, and social success of the American Jewish community, but also have contributed to widespread cultural assimilation.[72] More recently however, the propriety and degree of assimilation has also become a significant and controversial issue within the modern American Jewish community, with both political and religious skeptics.[73]

While not all Jews disapprove of intermarriage, many members of the Jewish community have become concerned that the high rate of interfaith marriage will result in the eventual disappearance of the American Jewish community. Intermarriage rates have risen from roughly 6% in 1950 and 25% in 1974,[74] to approximately 4050% in the year 2000.[75] By 2013, the intermarriage rate had risen to 71% for non-Orthodox Jews.[76] This, in combination with the comparatively low birthrate in the Jewish community, has led to a 5% decline in the Jewish population of the United States in the 1990s. In addition to this, when compared with the general American population, the American Jewish community is slightly older.

A third of intermarried couples provide their children with a Jewish upbringing, and doing so is more common among intermarried families raising their children in areas with high Jewish populations.[77] The Boston area, for example, is exceptional in that an estimated 60% percent of children of intermarriages are being raised Jewish, meaning that intermarriage would actually be contributing to a net increase in the number of Jews.[78] As well, some children raised through intermarriage rediscover and embrace their Jewish roots when they themselves marry and have children.

In contrast to the ongoing trends of assimilation, some communities within American Jewry, such as Orthodox Jews, have significantly higher birth rates and lower intermarriage rates, and are growing rapidly. The proportion of Jewish synagogue members who were Orthodox rose from 11% in 1971 to 21% in 2000, while the overall Jewish community declined in number.[79] In 2000, there were 360,000 so-called “ultra-orthodox” (Haredi) Jews in USA (7.2%).[80] The figure for 2006 is estimated at 468,000 (9.4%).[80] Data from the Pew Center shows that as of 2013, 27% of American Jews under the age of 18 live in Orthodox households, a dramatic increase from Jews aged 18 to 29, only 11% of whom are Orthodox. The UJA-Federation of New York reports that 60% of Jewish children in the New York City area live in Orthodox homes. In addition to economizing and sharing, Orthodox communities depend on government aid to support their high birth rate and large families. The Hasidic village of New Square, New York receives Section 8 housing subsidies at a higher rate than the rest of the region, and half of the population in the Hasidic village of Kiryas Joel, New York receive food stamps, while a third receive Medicaid.[81]

About half of the American Jews are considered to be religious. Out of this 2,831,000 religious Jewish population, 92% are non-Hispanic white, 5% Hispanic (Most commonly from Argentina, Venezuela, or Cuba), 1% Asian (Mostly Bukharian and Persian Jews), 1% Black and 1% Other (mixed race etc.). Almost this many non-religious Jews exist in United States, the proportion of Whites being higher than that among the religious population.[82]

Many Jews identify as being of Middle Eastern descentor simply as “Jews”as supported by genetic research.[86] As with some other racial and ethnocultural minorities, Jews have a complex relationship to the concept of “whiteness”, and as a result, many Americans of Jewish descent do not self-identify as white.[24][87][88][89] Prominent activist and rabbi Michael Lerner argues, in a 1993 Village Voice article, that “in America, to be ‘white’ means to be the beneficiary of the past 500 years of European exploration and exploitation of the rest of the world” and that “Jews can only be deemed white if there is massive amnesia on the part of non-Jews about the monumental history of anti-Semitism”.[90]African-American activist Cornel West, in an interview with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, has explained:

The American Jewish community includes African American Jews and other American Jews of African descent, a definition which may exclude North African Jewish Americans, who are considered Sephardi and thus sometimes classed as white. Estimates of the number of American Jews of African descent in the United States range from 20,000[92] to 200,000.[93] Jews of African descent belong to all of American Jewish denominations. Like their white Jewish counterparts, some black Jews are Jewish atheists or ethnic Jews.

Notable African-American Jews include Lisa Bonet, Sammy Davis, Jr., Rashida Jones, Yaphet Kotto, Jordan Farmar, Taylor Mays, and rabbis Capers Funnye and Alysa Stanton.

Relations between American Jews of African descent and other Jewish Americans are generally cordial.[citation needed] There are, however, disagreements with a specific minority of Black Hebrew Israelites community from among African-Americans who consider themselves, but not other Jews, to be the true descendants of the ancient Israelites. Black Hebrew Israelites are generally not considered to be members of the mainstream Jewish community, since they have not formally converted to Judaism, nor are they ethnically related to other Jews. One such group, the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem, emigrated to Israel and was granted permanent residency status there.[citation needed]

Education plays a major role as a part of Jewish identity; as Jewish culture puts a special premium on it and stresses the importance of cultivation of intellectual pursuits, scholarship and learning, American Jews as a group tend to be better educated and earn more than Americans as a whole.[94][95][96][97][98] Forty-four percent (55% of Reform Jews) report family incomes of over $100,000 compared to 19% of all Americans, with the next highest group being Hindus at 43%.[99][100] And while 27% of Americans have had college or postgraduate education, fifty-nine percent (66% of Reform Jews) of American Jews have, the second highest of any religious group after American Hindus.[99][101][102] 31% of American Jews hold a graduate degree, this figure is compared with the general American population where 11% of Americans hold a graduate degree.[99] White collar professional jobs have been attractive to Jews and much of the community tend to take up professional white collar careers requiring tertiary education involving formal credentials where the respectability and reputability of professional jobs is highly prized within Jewish culture. While 46% of Americans work in professional and managerial jobs, 61% of American Jews work as professionals, many of whom are highly educated, salaried professionals whose work is largely self-directed in management, professional, and related occupations such as engineering, science, medicine, investment banking, finance, law, and academia.[103]

Much of the Jewish American community lead middle class lifestyles.[104] While the median household net worth of the typical American family is $99,500, among American Jews the figure is $443,000.[105][106] In addition, the median Jewish American income is estimated to be in the range of $97,000 to $98,000, nearly twice as high the American national median.[107] Either of these two statistics may be confounded by the fact that the Jewish population is on average older than other religious groups in the country, with 51% of polled adults over the age of 50 compared to 41% nationally.[101] Older people tend to both have higher income and be more highly educated.

While the median income of Jewish Americans is high, there are still small pockets of poverty. In the New York area, there are approximately 560,000 Jews living in poor or near-poor households, representing about 20% of the New York metropolitan Jewish community. Most affected are children, the elderly, immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Orthodox families.[108]

According to analysis by Gallup, American Jews have the highest well-being of any ethnic or religious group in America.[109][110]

The great majority of school-age Jewish students attend public schools, although Jewish day schools and yeshivas are to be found throughout the country. Jewish cultural studies and Hebrew language instruction is also commonly offered at synagogues in the form of supplementary Hebrew schools or Sunday schools.

From the early 1900s until the 1950s, quota systems were imposed at elite colleges and universities particularly in the Northeast, as a response to the growing number of children of recent Jewish immigrants; these limited the number of Jewish students accepted, and greatly reduced their previous attendance. Jewish enrollment at Cornell’s School of Medicine fell from 40% to 4% between the world wars, and Harvard’s fell from 30% to 4%.[111] Before 1945, only a few Jewish professors were permitted as instructors at elite universities. In 1941, for example, antisemitism drove Milton Friedman from a non-tenured assistant professorship at the University of WisconsinMadison.[112]Harry Levin became the first Jewish full professor in the Harvard English department in 1943, but the Economics department decided not to hire Paul Samuelson in 1948. Harvard hired its first Jewish biochemists in 1954.[113]

Today, American Jews no longer face the discrimination in higher education that they did in the past, particularly in the Ivy League. For example, by 1986, a third of the presidents of the elite undergraduate final clubs at Harvard were Jewish.[112]Rick Levin has been president of Yale University since 1993, Judith Rodin was president of the University of Pennsylvania from 1994 to 2004 (and is currently president of the Rockefeller Foundation), Paul Samuelson’s nephew, Lawrence Summers, was president of Harvard University from 2001 until 2006, and Harold Shapiro was president of Princeton University from 1992 until 2000.

There are an estimated 4,000 Jewish students at the University of California, Berkeley.[118]

Jewishness in the United States is considered an ethnic identity as well as a religious one. See Ethnoreligious group.

Jewish religious practice in America is quite varied. Among the 4.3 million American Jews described as “strongly connected” to Judaism, over 80% report some sort of active engagement with Judaism,[119] ranging from attendance at daily prayer services on one end of the spectrum to as little as attendance Passover Seders or lighting Hanukkah candles on the other.

A 2003 Harris Poll found that 16% of American Jews go to the synagogue at least once a month, 42% go less frequently but at least once a year, and 42% go less frequently than once a year.[120]

The survey found that of the 4.3 million strongly connected Jews, 46% belong to a synagogue. Among those households who belong to a synagogue, 38% are members of Reform synagogues, 33% Conservative, 22% Orthodox, 2% Reconstructionist, and 5% other types. Traditionally, Sephardic and Mizrahis do not have different branches (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, etc.) but usually remain observant and religious. The survey discovered that Jews in the Northeast and Midwest are generally more observant than Jews in the South or West. Reflecting a trend also observed among other religious groups, Jews in the Northwestern United States are typically the least observant.

In recent years, there has been a noticeable trend of secular American Jews returning to a more observant, in most cases, Orthodox, lifestyle. Such Jews are called baalei teshuva (“returners”, see also Repentance in Judaism).[citation needed]

The 2008 American Religious Identification Survey found that around 3.4 million American Jews call themselves religious out of a general Jewish population of about 5.4 million. The number of Jews who identify themselves as only culturally Jewish has risen from 20% in 1990 to 37% in 2008, according to the study. In the same period, the number of all US adults who said they had no religion rose from 8% to 15%. Jews are more likely to be secular than Americans in general, the researchers said. About half of all US Jews including those who consider themselves religiously observant claim in the survey that they have a secular worldview and see no contradiction between that outlook and their faith, according to the study’s authors. Researchers attribute the trends among American Jews to the high rate of intermarriage and “disaffection from Judaism” in the United States.[121]

About one-sixth of American Jews maintain kosher dietary standards.[122]

American Jews are more likely to be atheist or agnostic than most Americans, especially so compared with Protestants or Catholics. A 2003 poll found that while 79% of Americans believe in God, only 48% of American Jews do, compared with 79% and 90% for Catholics and Protestants respectively. While 66% of Americans said they were “absolutely certain” of God’s existence, 24% of American Jews said the same. And though 9% of Americans believe there is no God (8% Catholic and 4% Protestant), 19% of American Jews believe God does not exist.[120]

A 2009 Harris Poll showed American Jews as the religious group most accepting of evolution, with 80% believing in evolution, compared to 51% for Catholics, 32% for Protestants, and 16% of Born-again Christians.[123] They were also less likely to believe in supernatural phenomena such as miracles, angels, or heaven.

Jews are overrepresented in American Buddhism specifically among those whose parents are not Buddhist, and without Buddhist heritage, with between one fifth[124] and 30% of all American Buddhists identifying as Jewish[125] though only 2% of Americans are Jewish. Nicknamed Jubus, an increasing number of American Jews have begun adopting Buddhist spiritual practice, while at the same time continuing to identify with and practice Judaism. Notable American Jewish Buddhists include: Robert Downey, Jr.[126]Allen Ginsberg,[127]Goldie Hawn[128] and daughter Kate Hudson, Steven Seagal, Adam Yauch of the rap group The Beastie Boys, and Garry Shandling. Film makers the Coen Brothers have been influenced by Buddhism as well for a time.[129] Founder of the New York City Marathon, Fred Lebow, dabbled in Buddhism for a brief period.

Today, American Jews are a distinctive and influential group in the nation’s politics. Jeffrey S. Helmreich writes that the ability of American Jews to effect this through political or financial clout is overestimated,[131] that the primary influence lies in the group’s voting patterns.[35]

“Jews have devoted themselves to politics with almost religious fervor,” writes Mitchell Bard, who adds that Jews have the highest percentage voter turnout of any ethnic group (84% reported being registered to vote[132]).

Though the majority (6070%) of the country’s Jews identify as Democratic, Jews span the political spectrum, with those at higher levels of observance being far more likely to vote Republican than their less observant and secular counterparts.[133]

Owing to high Democratic identification in the 2008 United States Presidential Election, 78% of Jews voted for Democrat Barack Obama versus 21% for Republican John McCain, despite Republican attempts to connect Obama to Muslim and pro-Palestinian causes.[134] It has been suggested that running mate Sarah Palin’s conservative views on social issues may have nudged Jews away from the McCainPalin ticket.[35][134] In the 2012 United States presidential election, 69% of Jews voted for the Democratic incumbent President Obama.[135]

American Jews have displayed a very strong interest in foreign affairs, especially regarding Germany in the 1930s, and Israel since 1945.[136] Both major parties have made strong commitments in support of Israel. Dr. Eric Uslaner of the University of Maryland argues, with regard to the 2004 election: “Only 15% of Jews said that Israel was a key voting issue. Among those voters, 55% voted for Kerry (compared to 83% of Jewish voters not concerned with Israel).” Uslander goes on to point out that negative views of Evangelical Christians had a distinctly negative impact for Republicans among Jewish voters, while Orthodox Jews, traditionally more conservative in outlook as to social issues, favored the Republican Party.[137] A New York Times article suggests that the Jewish movement to the Republican party is focused heavily on faith-based issues, similar to the Catholic vote, which is credited for helping President Bush taking Florida in 2004.[138] However, Natan Guttman, The Forwards Washington bureau chief, dismisses this notion, writing in Moment that while “[i]t is true that Republicans are making small and steady strides into the Jewish communitya look at the past three decades of exit polls, which are more reliable than pre-election polls, and the numbers are clear: Jews vote overwhelmingly Democratic,”[139] an assertion confirmed by the most recent presidential election results.

Though some critics charged that Jewish interests were partially responsible for the push to war with Iraq, Jewish Americans were actually more strongly opposed to the Iraq war from its onset than any other religious group, or even most Americans. The greater opposition to the war was not simply a result of high Democratic identification among U.S. Jews, as Jews of all political persuasions were more likely to oppose the war than non-Jews who shared the same political leanings.[140][141]

A 2013 Pew Research Center survey suggests that American Jews’ views on domestic politics are intertwined with the community’s self-definition as a persecuted minority who benefited from the liberties and societal shifts in the United States and feel obligated to help other minorities enjoy the same benefits. American Jews across age and gender lines tend to vote for and support politicians and policies supported by the Democratic Party. On the other hand, Orthodox American Jews have domestic political views that are more similar to their religious Christian neighbors.[142]

American Jews are largely supportive of LGBT rights with 79% responding in a Pew poll that homosexuality should be “accepted by society”.[143] A split on homosexuality exists by level of observance. Reform rabbis in America perform same-sex marriages as a matter of routine, and there are fifteen LGBT Jewish congregations in North America.[144] Reform, Reconstructionist and, increasingly, Conservative, Jews are far more supportive on issues like gay marriage than Orthodox Jews are.[145] A 2007 survey of Conservative Jewish leaders and activists showed that an overwhelming majority supported gay rabbinical ordination and same-sex marriage.[146] Accordingly, 78% percent of Jewish voters rejected Proposition 8, the bill that banned gay marriage in California. No other ethnic or religious group voted as strongly against it.[147]

In considering the trade-off between the economy and environmental protection, American Jews were significantly more likely than other religious groups (excepting Buddhism) to favor stronger environmental protection.[148]

Jews in America also overwhelmingly oppose current United States marijuana policy. Eighty-six percent of Jewish Americans opposed arresting nonviolent marijuana smokers, compared to 61% for the population at large and 68% of all Democrats. Additionally, 85% of Jews in the United States opposed using federal law enforcement to close patient cooperatives for medical marijuana in states where medical marijuana is legal, compared to 67% of the population at large and 73% of Democrats.[149]

Since the time of the last major wave of Jewish immigration to America (over 2,000,000 Jews from Eastern Europe who arrived between 1890 and 1924), Jewish secular culture in the United States has become integrated in almost every important way with the broader American culture. Many aspects of Jewish American culture have, in turn, become part of the wider culture of the United States.

Most American Jews today are native English speakers. A variety of other languages are still spoken within some American Jewish communities, communities that are representative of the various Jewish ethnic divisions from around the world that have come together to make up America’s Jewish population.

Many of America’s Hasidic Jews, being exclusively of Ashkenazi descent, are raised speaking Yiddish. Yiddish was once spoken as the primary language by most of the several million Ashkenazi Jews who immigrated to the United States. It was, in fact, the original language in which The Forward was published. Yiddish has had an influence on American English, and words borrowed from it include chutzpah (“effrontery”, “gall”), nosh (“snack”), schlep (“drag”), schmuck (“an obnoxious, contemptible person”, euphemism for “penis”), and, depending on ideolect, hundreds of other terms. (See also Yinglish.)

The Persian Jewish community in the United States, notably the large community in and around Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, California, primarily speak Persian (see also Judeo-Persian) in the home and synagogue. They also support their own Persian language newspapers. Persian Jews also reside in eastern parts of New York such as Kew Gardens and Great Neck, Long Island.

Many recent Jewish immigrants from the Soviet Union speak primarily Russian at home, and there are several notable communities where public life and business are carried out mainly in Russian, such as in Brighton Beach in New York City and Sunny Isles Beach in Florida. 2010 estimates of the number of Jewish Russian-speaking households in the New York city area are around 92,000, and the number of individuals are somewhere between 223,000350,000.[154] Another high population of Russian Jews can be found in the Richmond District of San Francisco where Russian markets stand alongside the numerous Asian businesses.

American Bukharan Jews speak Bukhori, a dialect of Persian, and Russian. They publish their own newspapers such as the Bukharian Times and a large portion live in Queens, New York. Forest Hills in the New York City borough of Queens is home to 108th Street, which is called by some “Bukharian Broadway”,[155] a reference to the many stores and restaurants found on and around the street that have Bukharian influences. Many Bukharians are also represented in parts of Arizona, Miami, Florida, and areas of Southern California such as San Diego.

Classical Hebrew is the language of most Jewish religious literature, such as the Tanakh (Bible) and Siddur (prayerbook). Modern Hebrew is also the primary official language of the modern State of Israel, which further encourages many to learn it as a second language. Some recent Israeli immigrants to America speak Hebrew as their primary language.

There are a diversity of Hispanic Jews living in America. The oldest community is that of the Sephardic Jews of New Netherland. Their ancestors had fled Spain or Portugal during the Inquisition for the Netherlands, and then came to New Netherland. Though there is dispute over whether they should be considered Hispanic. Some Hispanic Jews, particularly in Miami and Los Angeles, immigrated from Latin America. The largest groups are those that fled Cuba after the communist revolution (known as Jewbans), and Argentine Jews. Argentina is the Latin American country with the largest Jewish population. There are a large number of synagogues in the Miami area that give services in Spanish. The last Hispanic Jewish community would be those that recently came from Portugal or Spain, after Spain and Portugal granted citizenship to the descendants of Jews who fled during the Inquisition. All of the above listed Hispanic Jewish groups speak either Spanish or Ladino.

Although American Jews have contributed greatly to American arts overall, there remains a distinctly Jewish American literature. Jewish American literature often explores the experience of being a Jew in America, and the conflicting pulls of secular society and history.

Yiddish theater was very well attended, and provided a training ground for performers and producers who moved to Hollywood in the 1920s. Many of the early Hollywood moguls and pioneers were Jewish.[156][157]

Many individual Jews have made significant contributions to American popular culture. There have been many Jewish American actors and performers, ranging from early 1900s actors, to classic Hollywood film stars, and culminating in many currently known actors. The field of American comedy includes many Jews. The legacy also includes songwriters and authors, for example the author of the song “Viva Las Vegas” Doc Pomus, or Billy the Kid composer Aaron Copland. Many Jews have been at the forefront of women’s issues.

Since 1845, a total of 34 Jews have served in the Senate, including the 14 present-day senators noted above. Judah P. Benjamin was the first practicing Jewish Senator, and would later serve as Confederate Secretary of War and Secretary of State during the Civil War. Rahm Emanuel served as Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama. The number of Jews elected to the House rose to an all-time high of 30. Eight Jews have been appointed to the United States Supreme Court.

The Civil War marked a transition for American Jews. It killed off the antisemitic canard, widespread in Europe, to the effect that Jews are cowardly, preferring to run from war rather than serve alongside their fellow citizens in battle.[158][159]

At least twenty eight American Jews have been awarded the Medal of Honor.

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American Jews – Wikipedia

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – Wikipedia

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM), now officially proclaimed Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month,[1] takes place in May. It celebrates the culture, traditions, and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

In June 1977 Reps. Frank Horton of New York and Norman Y. Mineta of California introduced a United States House of Representatives resolution to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian-Pacific Heritage Week.[2][3][4] A similar bill was introduced in the Senate a month later by Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga.[2] “The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.”[2][5][6] President Jimmy Carter signed a joint resolution for the celebration on October 5, 1978.[2]

In 1990, George H.W. Bush signed a bill passed by Congress to extend Asian-American Heritage Week to a month;[7][8][9] May was officially designated as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month two years later.[5][10][11][12] On May 1, 2009 President Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation which recalls the challenges faced by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and celebrates their great and significant contributions to our society.[13]

During APAHM, communities celebrate the achievements and contributions of Asian and Pacific Americans with community festivals, government-sponsored activities and educational activities for students.[14]

Northeast and East:

West Coast:

South and Southeast:


(federal) = federal holidays, (state) = state holidays, (religious) = religious holidays, (week) = weeklong holidays, (month) = monthlong holidays, (36) = Title 36 Observances and Ceremonies Bolded text indicates major holidays that are commonly celebrated by Americans, which often represent the major celebrations of the month.[1][2]

Excerpt from:
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – Wikipedia

Calendar of Ethnic Holidays | American Ethnic Studies …


1 Feast of St. Basil (Christian, Orthodox) 1 Japanese New Year (Japan) 5 Guru Gobind Singhs Birthday (Sikh) 6 Epiphany (Christian) 6 Three Kings Day (Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic) 7 The Nativity of Jesus Christ (Christian, Orthodox) 13 Lohri (Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh) 16 Religious Freedom Day 16 World Religion Day (Bahai) 19 Tu bShvat or Tu BShevat* (Jewish, Israel) 26 India Republic Day


National Black History Month (United States) 2 Imbolc (Wiccan) 3 Chinese Lunar New Year (China, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam) 3 Tet Nguyen Dan (Vietnam) Year of the Buffalo 4 Rosa Parks Birth Anniversary 5 Mexico Constitution Day 11 National Foundation Day (Japan) 12 NAACP Founded 14 Race Relations Day 17 League of United Latin Citizens (LULAC) Founded American 24 Flag Day (Mexico)

March Greek-American Heritage Month Irish-American Heritage Month Spiritual Wellness Month 1 St. Davids Day (Welsh) 2 Mothering Sunday (England) 4 World Day of Prayer 5-8 Brazil, Carnival 7 Lent begins (Orthodox Christians) 8 Mardi Gras (United States) 9 Ash Wednesday (Protestant, Roman Catholic) 17 St. Patricks Day (Ireland, United States) 21 Naw Ruz (Bahai, Persia) 25 Feast of Annunciation (Christian) 30 Purim (Jewish)


6 National Tartan Day (Scottish-American) 6 Organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 8 Passover* (Jewish) 8 Vesak Buddhas Birth (Buddhist) 14 Sinhala and Tamil New Year (Sri Lanka) 16 Emancipation Day (African-American, United States) 17 Palm Sunday (Protestant, Roman Catholic) 19 Passover* (Jewish) 21 Holy Thursday (Christian) 22 Good Friday (Protestant, Roman Catholic) 23 St. Georges Day (English) 24 Easter (Orthodox) or Pascha 24 Easter (Protestant, Roman Catholic) 30 Beltane (Celtic)


Asian Pacific American History Month Jewish-American Heritage Month 4 National Day of Prayer (United States) 1 Yom Hashoah/Holocaust Memorial Day (Jewish) 2 May Day Bank Holiday (United Kingdom) 5 Cinco de Mayo (Mexico) 9 Victory Day (Russia) 18 Isreals Independence Day (Yom HaAtzmaUt) 19 Malcolm Xs birthday (African-American, United States) 23 Declaration of the Bab (Bahai) 25 Corpus Christi (American, Roman Catholic) 29 Ascension of Bahaullah (Bahai)


2 Ascension Day (Christian) 7 Shavuot* (Jewish) 16 Martyrdom Day of Guru Arjan (Sikh) 19 Juneteenth 23 Corpus Christi (American, Roman Catholic) 27 Martyrdome of Joseph and Hyrum Smith


1 Canada Day (Canada) 4 Fil-American Friendship Day (Phillippines, United States) 9 Bon Festival/Feast of Lanterns (Japan) 9 Martyrdom of the Bab (Bahai) 24 Pioneer Day (Mormon) 31 Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola (Spain, Roman Catholic)


1 Lammas and Lughnassad (Britain, Pagan, United States) 1-29 Ramadan (Islamic, Muslim, Moslem) 9 Tisha Bav* (Jewish) 14 Pakistans Independence Day 15 Indias Independence Day 15 Liberation Day (Korea, South Korea) 26 Lailat-Ul-Quadr (Islamic, Muslim) 30 Eid-Al-Fitr (Islamic, Muslim)



German-American Heritage Month National Italian-American Heritage Month Polish-American Heritage Month 8 Yom Kippur* (Jewish) 9 Cirio de Nazare (Brazil) 13-19 Sukkot* (Jewish) 19 Simchat Torah (Jewish) 20 Shemini Atzeret (Jewish) 26-30 Diwali (Buddhist, Hindu) 31 Reformation Day (Christian)


National American Indian Heritage Month 1 All Saints Day (Christian, Roman Catholic) 1 Dia de los Muertos Day of the Dead (Mexico, Latin America) 2 All Souls Day (Roman Catholic) 6 Eid al-adha (Islamic, Muslim) 12 Birthday of Bahaullah (Bahai) 26-Dec 24 Al Hijra Muslim New Year


5 Ashura (Islamic, Muslim) 6 St. Nicholas Day (International) 8 Bodhi Day Buddhas Enlightenment (Buddhist) 12 Virgin of Guadalupe (Mexico) 13 Santa Lucia Day (Sweden) 16-25 Las Posadas (Mexico) 21-28 Hanukkah* (Jewish) 25 Christmas (Christian, Roman Catholic, International) 26 Boxing Day (Canada, United Kingdom) 26 Kwanzaa (African-American Dec. 26, 2009 Jan 1, 2010)

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Calendar of Ethnic Holidays | American Ethnic Studies …

Walking Tour Calendar – Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy

Sunday, October 9. 2016

Boarded by Central Park to the east and Riverside Park to the west, this two and half mile neighborhood – a ‘powerhouse’ of shuls, schools, and Jewish culture – boasts of some of the most exceptional residences in NYC, exemplifying Beaux Art, Art Nouveau & Art Deco architecture.

Tour Guide Marty Shore

Highlights include a guided tour of the JEWISH CENTER, (1918). This Neo-Classical, Modern Orthodox site was the first in the US to feature a pool and recreational space. Its founding rabbi was the controversial Mordecai Kaplan.

Other world-renowned synagogues discussed include Ohab Zedek, Shaare Zedek and B’nai Jeshurun. We will view the (former) homes of Zero Mostel, I.B. Singer and Lee Strasberg. This tour will also include a view of one of the original Upper West Side mansions, built in the height of the ‘glory days’ of Riverside Drive, circa 1890. We will hear the history of the distinguished families who lived in the Rice Mansion, and how it came to be the UWS location of Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim.(a.k.a. Yeshiva Ketana of the UWS).

Time: 10:45 a.m.

Meeting Place: 86th Street and Central Park West, NE corner, park side.

Fees/Info: $22 Adult; $20 students and seniors ($2 additional day of tour)

Visit TWO grand synagogues remaining on the Lower East Side today. One is the first great house of worship built by Eastern European Jews, and the other a former church, and a site on the Underground Railroad.

We start our tour at Bialystoker Synagogue, the largest active orthodox congregation on the Lower East Side today, covered in murals, showcasing Tiffany inspired glass windows.

From there we will walk down historic East Broadway discussing the Educational Alliance, The Henry Street Settlement, Seward Park (the first municipal park in the country), Straus Square, and much more. View Beth Hamedrash Hagadol, the nation’s oldest Orthodox Jewish Russian congregation, and the site of the only Chief Rabbi ever in America.

The last stop will be at the Museum at Eldridge Street, located in the 1887 Eldridge Street Synagogue, which stands as a tribute to immigrant’s faith in America. We will end the tour with a little snack. Learn how Jewish traditions are being carried on at these sites today.

This tour is being offered jointly by The Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy & the Museum at Eldridge Street.

Time: 10:45 AM. (Lasts approximately 3 hours) Significant amount of walking

Meeting Place: Meet in front of Abrons Art Center 466 Grand Street (between Pitt Street & Bialystoker Pl/Willett Street)

Fees/Info: $24 ($2 additional day of tour if space available)

Pre-registration is highly recommended capacity limited

For much of the 20th century, the Borscht Belt was a thriving vacation destination for the New York Jewish community. By the 1980s and ’90s, though, the region was in a state of rapid economic decline. The result is now the subject of a new coffee table book, Borscht Belt: Revisiting the Remains of America’s Jewish Vacationland (Cornell University, 2016). The Conservancy was proud to exhibit a selection of Marissa’s work in our former Kling and Niman Family Center. We are now proud to co-sponsor this event. Join us for a reception and remarks by the author. This is a Free event.

Time: 6:30 PM (2 hours)

Meeting Place: Museum at Eldridge Street – 12 Eldridge Street, New York, NY 10002

Fees/Info: Free, however, registration is required due to popular demand.

Register Here.

The Lower East Side is the iconic New York City immigrant neighborhood. For the past century and a half, immigrants have crowded its streets and tenements and established cultural, social, and religious institutions.

On this tour, journey with your guide, Urban Historian Barry Feldman, our architectural specialist, to explore housing on the Lower East Side. Learn how to distinguish a tenement from a row house and see examples of pre-law, old law and new law tenements. You will be surprised by the rear tenement double-deckers that remain from 1867 pre-law housing legislation.

New architecture will be contrasted to sites visited.

Time: 10:45 a.m. (3 hour tour)

Meeting Place: In front of HSBC Bank, 58 Bowery, corner of Canal Street.

Fees/Info: $22 Adult; $20 students and seniors ($2 additional day of tour)

Arnold Rothstein, Meir Lansky and Bugsy Siegel were all notorious gangsters whose criminal activities extended to Atlantic City, Miami, Cuba and Las Vegas, but their stories began on the Lower East Side of New York. We will examine where these leaders of the Jewish underworld began their nefarious activities. Along the way we will analyze questions of morality, power and assimilation.

Use your imagination to evoke what once existed, as we view sites that were associated with these Jewish Gangsters. Join Rabbi David Kalb, your guide, as he sheds light on the Jews of this dark aspect of New York’s ‘past.

David Kalb is the Rabbi of Beit Ohr Torah, and is an Associate faculty member of CLAL The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, and a Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute.

Please join us for a talk with Conservancy board member, Paul Kaplan, who will discuss his indispensable travel guide, which delves into the rich history and immense contribution of Jewish immigrants. Focusing on neighborhoods in Manhattan, Kaplan includes museums, places of historic interest, restaurants, synagogues, and entertainment venues. This book is a road map of Jewish immigration in the Big Apple. A perfect guidebook for those who love experiential travel!

This event is being held in honor of Lower East Side History Month and is co-sponsored with The Neighborhood Preservation Center.

$5.00 Per Person. Pre-payment and pre-registration is required due to limited seating capacity. When you arrive, please press buzzer #1 to gain entrance to the building. A light snack will be served. Location: The Neighborhood Preservation Center 232 East 11th Street, New York, NY 10003 (212) 228-2781

Time: 7:00 PM -9:00PM

Location:The Neighborhood Preservation Center 232 East 11th Street, New York, NY 10003 (212) 228-2781

Fees/Info: $5 per person. Registration is required.


NEW TOUR! From the late 1890s to at least the 1950s, there were multiple Jewish gangs in New York City, which engaged in “book” keeping, bootlegging, gambling and other nefarious crimes. Violence and murder were common in the struggle to expand territories and operations.

Who were these men behind the Prohibition-era organizations that supplied liquor to the speakeasies of Boston, New York and Chicago? How did the gangsters treat the leaders of the local Jewish establishment and their legitimate businesses? What was the gangsters’ connection to the growing labor movement in the garment industry?

On this NEW tour, led by Eric Ferrara, founder of the award-winning Lower East Side History Project, and of the original Museum of the American Gangster, we will explore how the Jewish Gangs and the Italian Mob fought with each other and at times built alliances, including the development of the Las Vegas casino industry by non-Nevadans.

Jewish Gangs of the Lower East Side will visit some of the infamous hangouts where men like Bugsy Siegal, Meyer Lansky & Jack Zelig began their criminal careers, plus the locations where their illegal businesses flourished. This tour will shed light on the Jews of this dark aspect of New York’s past.

The East Village, also known as Alphabet City, was home to many synagogues, schools and benevolent societies. These institutions are less well known than those of the nearby Lower East Side, but they served a sizable community even into the mid 1990s. Join author and tour guide Ellen Levitt (The Lost Synagogues of New York City) as we walk the “East Streets” to see a variety of formerly Jewish sites, including the forerunner to Park East Day School.

See Congregation Adas Yisroel Anshe Mezeritch, a building under transition. We will also view a synagogue that has been re-done in a rainbow riot of color. Expect the unexpected on this special new experience!

Join us as we trace the origins of Jewish settlement in New Amsterdam. We will visit the former locations of Jewish sites in Lower Manhattan and discuss their historical significance. Sites include early Spanish and Portuguese rented synagogues and Mill Street Synagogue, the first synagogue built in North America.

A tour of Congregation Shearith Israel’s cemetery at Chatham Square (now Chinatown) is included. This is the oldest known Jewish cemetery in New York City. From 1654 to 1825 all Jews in New York City belonged to this one congregation. This Jewish cemetery dates from 1683.

The LESJC is so pleased to have Janet Kirchheimer join us as a guide on this very special tour! Janet is a recipient of a Drishna Institute for Jewish Education Arts Fellowship, 2006-2007. She was also nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2007, and is a teaching Fellow at The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (CLAL). Janet teaches American Jewish history classes, and conducts workshops in which adults & teens explore their Jewishness through creative writing. Janet’s poetry has received endorsements from Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel and other notable individuals. On the faculty at Congregation Shearith Israel, The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, she is more than equipped to be our new guide for this annual tour.

The Greater Lower East Side is recognized as New York City’s most iconic immigrant settlement.

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries different ethnic groups- Irish fleeing the great famine, Jews from Eastern Europe, Italians, Hispanics and Asians have all shaped the area with distinct cultural patterns, use of physical space and the built environment. This tour will explore cultural institutions, ethnic markets, funeral homes and worship sites that characterized each neighborhood settlement. The accompanying narrative is a blend of New York City history and social history explaining the interaction between ethnicity, time and space.

This tour, led by Barry Feldman, is recommended for walkers with comfortable shoes.

The Upper West Side offers a wealth of cultural history and architectural styles: Beaux Arts, Art Nouveau & Art Deco. Boarded by Central and Riverside Parks, this 2.5 mile neighborhood is home to some of the most outstanding residential buildings in NYC.

In the 1930′s, throngs of Jewish refugees moved to the UWS, joining their numbers to an already large and diverse community. Today’s UWS is a powerhouse of shuls, schools, Jewish eateries and more.

On this new tour we will explore the area from W.86th to W.96th Streets, and discuss the Jewish history from the ‘inside’ with a tour of The Jewish Ceter, and viewings of other world-renown synagogues, including Ohab Zedek, Shaare Zedek, and B’nai Jeshurun. We will visit the former home of Zero Mostel. Isaac Bashevis Singer and Actors Studio founder, Lee Strasberg.

The tour will also include a view of one of the original Upper Westside mansions built at the height of the glory days of Riverside Drive in the 1890s. The Rice mansion was home to two distinguished UWS families and is now the home of Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim.

Time: 10:45 AM

Meeting Place: 86th Street and Central Park West, NE corner, park side.

Fees/Info: $20 adults, $18 seniors & students ($2 additional day of tour)

Have you ever tasted potatonik?

Join the LESJC for a stimulating stroll featuring delicacies based on original European recipes. Nosh on a fresh baked bialy, a pickle right out of the barrel, and potatonik. We will tour historic Jewish sites on and off the beaten path, including the Bialystoker Synagogue, originally the Willet Street Methodist Church (1826), a site on the Underground Railroad. We will also enter a shteibl, a one or two room house of prayer. View Beth Hamedrash Hagadol, pulpit of the only chief Rabbi ever appointed in NYC, and formerly the largest Russian, traditional Jewish congregation in the United States.

This tour will last approximately 3 hours. Price $22 in advance and $26 the day of the tour

Time: 2:00 PM

Meeting Place: Meet in front of Moishe’s Bakery at 504 Grand Street

Fees/Info: $22 adults ($4 additional day of tour)

Welcome to the Lower East Side. We’re shooting for Over the Rainbow with a great children’s program. Weather permitting, we’ll be going outside to the Siempre Verde community garden for seed planting, marshmallow roasting, and enjoying spring. Indoors, art and music teachers will run a scavenger hunt in our historic synagogue building, and teach holiday themed arts & crafts, rock painting, and we’ll have a special music concert. The painting shown here by artist and teacher David Wander connects to an older tradition of Jewish religious zodiacs called mazoles or mazelot, as re-interpreted by Stanton Street artists. The twelve original immigrant mazoles can be seen in the main sanctuary.

The bow and rainbow are symbols associated with Lag B’Omer and with the promise, or covenant of a green world that starts again after the destruction of the flood. Lag B’Omer is a Jewish holiday that joyously marks the halfway point of counting the days between two important festivals: Passover (Pesach) and Shevuot. On Pesach, we mark the Exodus with the remembrance of enslavement; on Shevuot we remember the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Pesach is associated with the barley harvest; Shevuot, the wheat harvest.

Lower East Side History Month “aims to connect our present to our past, exploring how our history can inform and inspire our future.” We welcome you to our synagogue and neighborhood in partnership with the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy, which connects our community’s historic synagogues to visitors and residents alike.

Popcorn and pretzel snacks will be served.

More Program information can be found on the Over The Rainbow Event Page.

About the Stanton Street Shul Stanton Street Shul is a historic immigrant shul built in 1913 by a small congregation from the town of Brzezan. They were joined by other Galitzianer immigrants from the towns of Rymanov and Blujzhev. All of these towns were in the eastern part of the Austria Hungarian Empire before World War I, and were part of Poland before World War II. The Lower East Side is changing rapidly; today the synagogue has a very young congregation and deeply values its immigrant connections to older congregants who came to the neighborhood after World War II. Check out the Stanton Street Shul Facebook page and website at to find out about our many events and weekly services.

Time: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Meeting Place: Meet in front of the Stanton Street Shul. 180 Stanton Street, between Clinton and Attorney St.

Fees/Info: Adults: $3; children: $2

“You Be The Judge: Jewish Courts of Conciliation in Action”

Eastern European immigrants to America frequently turned to Jewish courts of arbitration to litigate civil, familial and business disputes. This participatory program presents a brief discussion of justice in Biblical and Talmudic sources followed by a lively presentation of cases brought before the courts in early 20th century New York. You be the Judge!

Time: 6:30 PM

Meeting Place:Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy Kling & Niman Family Visitor Center, 400 Grand Street (between Suffolk & Clinton Streets)

Fees/Info: Free. Pre-registration required. Event limited to 30 – Call to register at (212) 374-4100

Insider’s Walking Tours Vintage Goods Benefit Sale Launch of new Arts Exhibition STREETSCAPES OF THE LOWER EAST SIDE: The Paintings of Leah Raab.

This activity-packed day of exploring and learning about the Jewish history of Manhattan’s Lower East Side includes three walking tours of the neighborhood, a vintage goods benefit sale and special presentations by renowned guest speakers.

Events kick off at 10:45 AM at the LESJC Kling & Niman Family Visitor Center with walking tours exploring the historic neighborhood, considered by many the starting point of the American-Jewish experience.

10:45 AM is the “Crossing Delancey” tour, which examines three of the oldest synagogues in New York City: Congregation Chasam Sopher (built in 1853); the Orensanz Foundation (formerly Congregation Anshe Chesed, built in 1850); and Congregation B’nei Jacob Anshei Brzezan, one of only two remaining tenement style synagogues left on the Lower East Side.

11:00 AM “Bialystoker the Beautiful” is a 90-minute tour of the magnificent Bialystoker Synagogue, which was built in 1826 as a Methodist church, and its surroundings. The tour also makes stops at Congregation Beth Hachasidim De Polen (a 19th Century shtiebl, or prayer room) and at Beth Hamedrah Hagadol, former home of the largest Russian-Jewish Orthodox congregation in the United States.

2:00 PM Meet the Artist Reception for Leah Raab, who will address the participants. We are excited to have Artist Leah Raab give a live presentation of her works for her new show on display in our Visitor Center, “STREETSCAPES OF THE LOWER EAST SIDE”. Her works will be on view at the festival, and open to the public for a limited time thereafer.

A professional fine artist, Leah holds an MFA from the NY Studio School, and a BFA with highest honors from the acclaimed Bezalel Academy of Arts, Jerusalem, Israel. She has had numerous solo and collaborative exhibitions and has taught art on 2 continents for over 35 years.

3:00 PM The “Bialystoker the Beautiful” tour is presented a second time.

Tickets for tours are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students. Buy your walking tour tickets in advance online. Children under 8 tour for FREE!

This two hour walking tour celebrates the lives of women: ordinary, unsung heroines who battled to raise their families and make a life in the New World, as well as nine inspiring women who played leading social, political and artistic roles on the Lower East Side in the early 20th century. The tour of the famed Manhattan neighborhood will examine how the nine women lived and how they each came to effect change in New York City and beyond.

Participants will also enjoy a rare visit to the historic dining room at Henry Street Settlement, where Lillian D. Wald hosted distinguished guests ranging from President Theodore Roosevelt to W.E.B. Du Bois and delegates of National Negro Conference (after several NYC restaurants refused to accommodate the interracial group). Tour will conclude with a light lunch in the LESJC Kling & Niman Family Visitor Center.

Admission is $22. ($25 if purchased after May 7)

Space is limited. Please register by May 7th, 5 PM

Justin Ferate has been on the Board of Directors of the Fine Arts Federation of NYC, the National and Metropolitan chapters of the Victorian Society in America, the LESJC, and the NYC & Company Tour Guide Enhancement Program. Justin Ferate is also active in numerous historic and preservation societies. With a background in Urban and Architectural History, Justin was awarded fellowships to study 19th Century Architecture and Design in Philadelphia, Newport and London.

Some of the women that will be featured on the tour:

Lillian D. Wald (1867-1940), founder of Henry Street Settlement and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. The settlement provided home health care, recreational, cultural and educational programs for immigrants and their families living on the Lower East Side. As a social welfare activist, she was an early leader in the movements for public health, education and labor reform, improved housing, civil rights and world peace.

Emma Goldman (1869-1940), anarchist and self-styled revolutionary. She supported herself by working in sweatshops and, later, as a midwife. In her writings and as a fiery orator, she advocated for workers’ rights, free speech, birth control and atheism. Jailed numerous times, she was called “the most dangerous woman in America” and deported to Russia in 1917.

Rose Pastor Stokes (1879-1933), “The Red Yiddish Cinderella.” She was a cigar maker turned journalist whose marriage to a son of a wealthy uptown family made headlines in the NY press. Together the Socialist power couple traveled around the country speaking at lectures and rallies in support of social justice and economic equality.

Belle Moskowitz (1877-1933), political strategist and top advisor to NY Governor and presidential candidate Alfred E. Smith. As a young widow and mother, she worked at the Educational Alliance and became involved in liberal causes. She was successful in mobilizing the women’s vote for Gov. Smith and framing his progressive legislation that led to F.D.R’s New Deal.

Clara Lemlich (1886-1982), union leader. As a youthful shirtwaist maker, she led a strike in 1909 of sweatshop workers known as the “Uprising of the 20,000.” The young women marched on pickets lines for 14 weeks, demanding higher pay and safer working conditions. Although they achieved limited concessions, their determination energized the nascent labor movement.

Anzia Yezierska (c. 1880-1970), author. Her novels, short stories and semi-fictional autobiographical writing vividly depict immigrant life on the Lower East Side and the struggles and conflicts of women of her generation assimilating to life in America. In 1920, Samuel Goldwyn invited her to Hollywood, as an advisor for a film based on some of her short stories.

Originally posted here:
Walking Tour Calendar – Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy

Obama and ‘Jewish Heritage Month’ – Commentary Magazine

To be clear, there is nothing remotely anti-Semitic about the proclamation itself, and Im not accusing the president or his staff in any way of promoting anti-Semitism. But I do note that the proclamations discussion of Jews contributions to American society is consistent with a particular left-wing view of Jewswhich is that Jews have two predominant roles to play in the world, either as victims or as advocates for progressive causes.

Here are the first two paragraphs of the proclamation:

At Americas birth, our Founders fought off tyranny and declared a set of idealsincluding life, liberty, and the pursuit of happinessthat would forever guide our countrys course. For generations since, Jewish Americans, having shared in the struggle for freedom, have been instrumental in ensuring our Nation stays true to the principles enshrined in our founding documents. They have helped bring about enduring progress in every aspect of our society, shaping our countrys character and embodying the values we hold dear. This month, as we pay tribute to their indelible contributions, we recommit to ridding our world of bigotry and injustice and reflect on the extraordinary ways in which Jewish Americans have made our Union more perfect.

Many of the Jewish people who reached our Nations shores throughout our history did so fleeing the oppression they encountered in areas around the world. Driven by the possibility of charting a freer future, they endeavored, on their own and as a community, to make real the promise of American their individual lives and in the life of our country. Determined to confront the racism that kept this promise from being fully realized, many Jewish Americans found a cause in the Civil Rights Movement thatin its call for freedom and justiceechoed the timeless message of Exodus and the Jewish peoples journey through the ages. Reflecting on the march in Selma, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel once noted, I felt my legs were praying. From the fight for womens rights to LGBT rights to workers rights, many in the Jewish American community, drawing on lessons from their own past, have trumpeted a clarion call for equality and justice.

Its no secret that many liberal American Jews emphasize the social justice part of their identity. But this doesnt preclude also recognizing, as part of Jewish Heritage Month, that Jews have contributed disproportionately to the arts, business, medicine, academia, science, and so forth. Nor does it preclude recognizing that American Jews have successfully created unique and innovative Jewish communal charities, educational institutions, and internal religious movements (such as Conservative Judaism). Nor does it preclude recognizing that American Jews have been at the forefront of helping to establish and defend Israel and in rescuing persecuted Jews from Ethiopia to the USSR.

Im sure if you asked whoever drafted the presidents proclamation about these other matters, he would say something along the lines of, yeah, that stuff is nice, too.

But for some progressives on the far left, including some progressives of Jewish descent, that other stuff isnt nice too. To them, Jews exist only for the role assigned to them by the progressive mythosto use their experience of oppression and their privilege to fight for the rights of others, and then to assimilate or disappear.

Ever since Karl Marx himself stated as much, there has been a significant strand of left-wing thought suggesting that Jews arent a legitimate ethnic group, but simply forlorn Asiatic/European nomads who came to exist as a group solely to serve the class interests first of feudal rulers and than of capitalists, possessing neither a legitimate religion (because no religion is legitimate) nor a legitimate culture (because Jews) nor any claim to self-determination.

Indeed, this is sometimes explained in a way that makes anti-Semitism understandable as a reaction to the fact that Gentile rulers use Jews to exploit their subjects. Consider the following recent open letter from a group of leftist Jewish Oberlin students:

We agree with the definition of anti-Semitism laid out by Aurora Levins Morales, a Jewish pro-Palestinian activist; she writes that anti-Semitism, writing about European Jewry under Christianity, functions by creating a vulnerable buffer group that can be bribed with some privileges into managing the exploitation of others, and then, when social pressure builds, be blamed and scapegoated, distracting those at the bottom from the crimes of those at the top.

Because Jews have no corporate legitimacy unless they are gathering to demand rights for others, it is deemed reactionary to suggest that Jews should have intragroup solidarity. Indeed it has long been a defining attribute of many Jews on the far left to go out of their way to express their disinterest in Jewish causes. Consider Rosa Luxemburgs classic statement: What do you want with these special Jewish pains? I feel as close to the wretched victims of the rubber plantations in Putamayo and the blacks of Africa with whose bodies the Europeans play ball I have no special corner in my heart for the [Jewish] ghetto: I am at home in the entire world, where there are clouds and birds and human tears.

Moreover, it would be reactionary to recognize disproportionate Jews contributions to various fields of endeavor. Good left-wingers, after all, believe that all groups would be exactly equal in every way but for societal oppression Indeed, given that relevant ethos, Jewish success suggests that Jews have somehow gamed the system at the expense of disadvantaged minorities, something that is rather overtly suggested every time a self-proclaimed spokesperson for a minority group suggests that his group must exhibit more solidarity like the Jews so they can be successful like the Jews. (Anyone who thinks that intragroup solidarity is a defining aspect of American Jewish culture doesnt know much about American Jewish culture).

So for some fraction of the far left, the Jewish contribution to various liberation movements is not simply the Jews most important contribution to the world, and is not simply the only one worth mentioning if you have limited space, as with President Obamas proclamation. It is, rather, the only legitimate praise one can give to the Jews.

Meanwhile, Jewish support for Israel, or sometimes even for fellow Jews suffering elsewhere, is nothing but reactionary nationalism based on at best foolish sentimentality and at worst racist notions of Jewish superiority. Exactly why Jewish solidarity is racist, but not solidarity among other groups, is never clearly explained, but it seems to have something to do with the fact that Jews arent a legitimate ethnic group to begin with.

Once we understand that there are those who believe that the existence of Jews as a recognizable entity, is only justified (and only temporarily) to the extent Jews rely on their residual memories of collective oppression to aid left-wing liberation movements, one can begin to understand the far lefts problem with the Jews. Their ideology leaves no room for anything but revulsion with Zionism, dismissal of claims of anti-Semitism (in ways they would never dismiss accusations of other forms of racism), nor for considering the Holocaust to have any more significance than as an unfortunate example of white on white crime.

In short, to many on the far left, the only good Jew is a secular left-wing internationalist political activist with no particular interest in the well-being of his fellow Jews. (Consider again the Oberlin students: We urge all Jewish students concerned about anti-Semitism to fight with equal passion for Palestinian liberation, Black liberation, and an end to all forms of oppression, on and off campus. Others, but not Jews, are permitted to be especially concerned with the fate of their own group.) Given that only a small fraction of Jews fit that model, anti-Semitism is therefore a natural consequence.

Jews have a specific heritage worth celebrating. It would have been proper if the White House had recognized it, no matter what the far Left thinks.

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Obama and ‘Jewish Heritage Month’ – Commentary Magazine

Jewish American Heritage Month 2016

May is Jewish American Heritage Month On April 20, 2006, President George W. Bush proclaimed that May would be Jewish American Heritage Month. The announcement was the crowning achievement in an effort by the Jewish Museum of Florida and South Florida Jewish community leaders that resulted in resolutions introduced by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida and Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania urging the president to proclaim a month that would recognize the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to American culture. The resolutions passed unanimously, first in the House of Representatives in December 2005 and later in the Senate in February 2006.

The month of May was chosen due to the highly successful celebration of the 350th Anniversary of American Jewish History in May 2004, which was organized by the Commission for Commemorating 350 Years of American Jewish History. This coalition was composed of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, the American Jewish Historical Society, the Library of Congress and the National Archives and Records Administration.

This site presents only a sample of the digital and physical holdings related to Jewish American heritage available from the Library of Congress and other participating agencies.

Leading the way in implementation of the annual celebration is the Jewish American Heritage Month Coalition, formed in March 2007 and convened by United Jewish Communities, the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives and the American Jewish Historical Society.

The Law Library of Congress has compiled guides to commemorative observations, including a comprehensive inventory of the Public Laws, Presidential Proclamations and congressional resolutions related to Jewish American Heritage Month.

This Web portal is a collaborative project of the Library of Congress and the National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The contents of this site highlight only a small portion of the physical and digital holdings of the participating partners.

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Jewish American Heritage Month 2016

Jewish American Heritage Month 2016 | EDSITEment

Each May, EDSITEment celebrates Jewish American Heritage Month by pointing to the rich array of educational resources on the history of the Jewish people in America. Many of the programs and websites highlighted have been funded in part by grants from theNational Endowment for the Humanitiesover the past decades.

One of the most innovative ways for students to learn about the Jewish American experience of the early years of the 20th century is through Mission US 4: City of Immigrants, where players navigate New Yorks Lower East Side as Lena, a young Jewish immigrant from Russia. Trying to save money to bring her parents to America, she works long hours in a factory for little money and gets caught up in the growing labor movement.

The idea of America as both a haven and a home for the religious faiths of the myriad diverse groups who, over the centuries, have immigrated to the United States is one that deeply resonates with most Americans. The blessings of religious and political liberty that these immigrants found in America were captured eloquently inGeorge Washingtons letter to the Hebrew Congregation at Newport, Rhode Island in 1790. In this letter, Washington quotes a sentence from the Book of Micah of the Hebrew Bible:

May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitantswhile every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.

A few sentences earlier, Washington addresses American Jews as equal fellow citizens (the first time in history that any national leader had done so):

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

Washington’s letter was in response to one written by Moses Seixas, Warden of the Jeshuat Israel Synagogue in Rhode Island. The principles of civil and religious liberty extolled in this letter and embodied in our Constitution encouraged and rewarded active participation in the social, political, and cultural life of the nation with results that will be celebrated in this feature.

A brief history of the Jewish American religious experience in the 19th and 20th centuries can be found in Divining America: Religion in American History from the National Humanities Center.

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A good place to begin if one wants to understand Jewish life in America would beThe Jewish Americans, broadcast on PBS stations and partially funded byNEH. The series website offers a treasure trove of video clips, images, and student interactives on such topics as:

A related NEH-funded website,Jews in America: Our Story,documents the growth of the Jewish community from a group of 23 refugees fleeing from the Portuguese Inquisition in 1654. This comprehensive website on the history and culture includes an interactive historical timeline, with a gallery of over five hundred artifacts drawn from the library, archival, and museum collections of the Center for Jewish History and its partners.

The Humanities magazine article Jewish Pioneers tells the stories of the new lives that European Jews made for themselves west of the Mississippi in the 19th century. According to one scholar there wasnt a single settlement west of the Mississippi of any significance which had not had a Jewish mayor in 1900.

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Over the years, NEH has supported the production of many episodes of the long-running series American Experience. Whether the programs are devoted to well-known figures such as Emma Goldman, the passionate radical, or on the long forgotten New York lawyer,Samuel Leibowitz, who defended the Scottsboro boys, the American Experience website offers new and often surprising insights into the diverse roles that Jewish Americans played in the larger national story.

Another PBS program on American historyThe People v. Leo Franktells the story of the most famous lynching of a white man in American history. According to the program, there were two conflicting legacies of the Frank case, one was the revival of the Klu Klux Klan as an anti-Semitic outfit and the other was the establishment of the Anti-Defamation League as defender of civil rights and social justice for all Americans.

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The Holocaust is one of the greatest tragedies in modern history. Its enormity is difficult for students to comprehend, particularly if it is presented as a general historical event. One effective way of approaching this topic is for students to hear the testimony of individual survivors.Coming of Age in the Holocaust Coming of Age Nowis a free, interactive curriculum for middle and high-school students and their educators created by theMuseum of Jewish HeritageA Living Memorial to the Holocaustin New Yorkand Jewish Resistance Heritage Museum in Israel.

The Diary of Ann Frank remains a classic high school text. EDSITEments lessonsAnne Frank: One of Hundreds of Thousands andAnne Frank: Writeroffer opportunities for your students to examine the historical conditions which impelled Annes family to go into hiding and the writing strategy she employed.

PBSAmerican Mastersoffers rich resources for investigating the exemplary contributions of Jewish Americans to such fields as music, theatre, film, and television. Where would American music be without the dynamic rhythms ofLeonard BernsteinandAaron Copland,or the swinging melodies ofBenny Goodmanand his orchestra? American Theatre would be poorer without the complex characters and conflicts ofArthur Millers plays, the dazzling directing talent ofJerome RobbinsandHarold Clurmanand the brilliant actors developed underthe mentorship of Stella Adler. Similarly, listen to howAllen Ginsbergs life and poemsHowl and Kaddish inspired the counterculture of America in the midpoint of the century or howAnnie Leibovitzturned celebrity photography into an art. It may come as something of a surprise to discover that American Mastersalso produced a program on one of the greatest scientific thinkers of all time, Albert Einstein. Yet he surely deserves recognition in a series devoted to examining the lives, works, and creative processes of our most outstanding cultural artists.

Hank GreenbergandSandy Koufax, two Jewish Americans who excelled at the national pastime, are featured on the Ken Burns series Baseball. Further resources on these legends and other players can be found on Chasing Dreams Baseball and Becoming Americanfrom the National Museum of American Jewish History.

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Jewish American Heritage Month 2016 | EDSITEment

50 States/50 Stories – May is Jewish American Heritage Month

Jewish historical societies and museums across the country are the keepers of colorful, enlightening, and surprising stories about the accomplishments and contributions of American Jewish men and women who have helped to weave the fabric of American history, culture, and society. Meet them here–the inventors, the philanthropists, the pioneers, the entrepreneurs–who have helped to make America great. Do you have a story about a Jewish American contribution to tell? Click here to submit your story for consideration. (JAHM reserves the right to edit or refuse any submission.)


Samuel Ullman 1840-1924

Born in Hohenzollern-Hechingen in 1840, Samuel Ullman came to America was he was eleven. After spending many years in Mississippi, Samuel and his wife Emma moved to Birmingham, Alabama in 1884 and opened a hardware store. The same year he arrived in the “Pittsburgh of the South,” Ullman became president of Temple Emanu-El and joined the Birmingham Board of Education, on which he served for eighteen years. In 1899, Ullman persuaded the city to build its first permanent public high school. In board meetings, he would often arouse criticism due to his outspoken support of various controversial issues. He actively lobbied for the education of Birmingham’s black community, and convinced the board to open the Industrial High School for African Americans in 1900. The Birmingham school board later named an African-American high school in Ullman’s honor.

After he lost his hearing and retired from business, Ullman pursued his passion of writing poetry. One of his poems, entitled “Youth,” written while Ullman was in his 70s, was admired by General Douglas MacArthur, who hung a framed copy of it in his office in Tokyo during the years right after World War II and often quoted it during speeches. The poem, which begins with the lines “youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind” became well-known in Japan due to MacArthur’s influence, and was beloved by many of its residents. More than two decades after his death, Ullman became a celebrated figure in Japan. In 1994, after a joint fund raising effort in Japan and the United States, the University of Alabama at Birmingham opened the Samuel Ullman Museum in his former home.

Text courtesy of Dr. Stuart Rockoff, Director, History Department, Institute of Southern Jewish Life


Robert 1878-1974 And Jessie 1887-1980 Bloom

One untold story in American Jewish history is how two Irish Jews, Robert and Jessie Bloom, became Jewish pioneers of the Alaskan frontier.

Robert and Jessie were both raised in Dublin, Ireland. Robert came to Alaska as a young man in search of gold. Instead of riches, Robert found he loved the region and decided to stay, opening a hardware and general merchandise store in Fairbanks.

At age 21, Jessie left Dublin for London, England. There she became involved in the growing women’s suffrage movement. She joined the Women’s Freedom League and worked for passage of a suffrage law by selling pro-suffrage newspapers and attending rallies.

Robert and Jessie met in Dublin in 1910 and were married in 1912. Shortly thereafter the newlyweds moved to Alaska.

Together, the Blooms brought their Jewish identity to the frontier and helped create a Jewish community where none had previously existed. Robert was a founder of Congregation Bikkur Cholim in Fairbanks and served as chairman of Alaska’s Jewish Welfare Board. The couple also served as unofficial chaplains for Jewish servicemen stationed in Alaska during World War II.

The Blooms were involved in many activities during their long lives working in business and culture while always respecting the beauty and nature of Alaska’s wilderness. Robert Bloom helped to establish the first Air Force base in Alaska and was a founder of the University of Alaska (1918). Meanwhile, Jessie Spiro Bloom founded the Fairbanks kindergarten and first Girl Scout chapter in the state (1925).

The papers of Robert L. and Jessie S. Bloom reside at The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives on the historic Cincinnati campus of the Hebrew Union CollegeJewish Institute of Religion.


Freeda Lewis 1885-1946

Born in Sellel, Russia, Freeda Lewis immigrated to Ontario, Canada as small child. She married a young lawyer named Barnett E. Marks in 1903, and in 1906 they moved to Phoenix, Arizona. An energetic volunteer and ardent Republican, Freeda served as legislative chairman of the Central Arizona District Federation of Women’s Clubs and president of the Phoenix section of the Council of Jewish Women. Her volunteer activities propelled her into political life where she held several significant appointed and elected posts in Arizona government.

Freeda Marks was not only a pioneer of women politicians, but an important Republican figure in the 20th century. She served as a national Republican committeewoman from 1920 to 1922, a 1922 minority leader in the legislature, and an elected associate member of the national committee as the Arizona member of the Republican national committee in 1928 at a time when there were only 2 Republican members. She was also an elected representative of Maricopa County in the sixth legislature and the Republican nominee for the speaker of the house.

Freeda was well liked by Arizona citizens and respected by her political peers. However, the Arizona activist was sometimes controversial. Not afraid to speak her mind, she once told the newspapers that “Senator Harrison needs to live and learn” when he criticized the presidential candidate, Calvin Coolidge.

Freeda retained her identity as a Jewish woman by remaining involved in Jewish charitable organizations throughout her life. Her tenacity and intelligence earned her general public admiration and local and national prominence.

Text courtesy of Emily Jacobson, Arizona Jewish Historical Society


Jane Mendel 1924-2006

In 1957, the court-ordered integration of Central High School was the first serious test of the Supreme Courts recent Brown v Board of Education ruling. Led by Governor Orval Faubus, the forces of resistance pulled out all the stops in their efforts to thwart the courts ruling. For Jane Mendel, staying on the sidelines was not an option. Born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, Mendel moved to Little Rock at age 19 after she married local boy Edwin Mendel. When the governor shut down Little Rocks public high school in September of 1958 rather than integrate, Mendel and other women created the Womens Emergency Committee to Open Our Schools (WEC) to fight against it.

The WEC became the public face of the fight for integrated public schools in Little Rock. Mendel was the keeper of the WECs top-secret telephone chain master list. When they needed the groups membership to mobilize, Mendel would activate the telephone chain. Through this system, over 2000 members could be reached in a short period of time. With Mendel at the helm, the WEC phone chain was able to quickly rally public opinion against segregationist proposals. Mendel was one of many Jewish women in Little Rock who were involved in the WEC.

An active member of the Little Rock Jewish community, the Jewish Federation created the Jane Mendel Tikkun Olam Award in 2003 to honor Jewish community leaders who fulfill the mitzvah of repairing the world. Jane Mendel died on January 20, 2006, after a lifetime of working to make her community a better place for everyone.

Text courtesy of Dr. Stuart Rockoff, Director, History Department, Institute of Southern Jewish Life


THELMA (TIBY) EISEN 1922-present

One of the most versatile and talented Jewish professional athletes in America was Gertrude “Tiby” Eisen. Born in Los Angeles in 1922, Tiby Eisen was a star of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, the only professional women’s league in baseball history. The women’s hardball league lasted from 1943 to 1954. One of at least four Jewish women in the AAGPBL, Eisen was its only Jewish superstar and a pioneer in American women’s sports.

The young Eisen was an outstanding athlete in her native Los Angeles and started playing semi-pro softball at age 14. When the AAGPBL was formed in 1943, Eisen won a spot on the Milwaukee team, which moved the next year to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Eisen’s best season was in 1946, when she led the AAGPBL in triples, stole 128 bases and made the all-star team.

Eisen’s family was ambivalent about the career choice this “nice Jewish girl” had made, although she ultimately won their respect. “We played a big charity game in Chicago for a Jewish hospital,” Eisen recalled in an interview with historian David Spaner. “My name and picture were in every Jewish newspaper. My uncle, who had said, ‘You shouldn’t be playing baseball you’ll get a bad reputation, a bad name,’ was in the stands . . . bursting with pride that I was there.”

When Eisen retired from professional baseball 1952, she settled in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles and became a star for the Orange Lionettes softball team, leading them to a world championship. In 1993, she helped establish the women’s exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Eisen told David Spaner, “We’re trying to record this so we have our place in history. It’s important to keep our baseball league in the limelight. It gets pushed into the background … [just as] women have been pushed into the background forever. If they knew more about our league, perhaps in the future some women will say, ‘Hey, maybe we can do it again.’”

Text courtesy of American Jewish Historical Society.


Frances Wisebart Jacobs 1843-1892

Frances Wisebart Jacobs was a young bride of twenty in 1863 when she accompanied her new husband by covered wagon from Cincinnati to their first home in Central City, a burgeoning silver boom mining town about thirty miles west of Denver, in the Colorado Territory. In 1870, the family relocated to nearby Denver, where Bavarian-born Abraham became active in business and politics and Frances soon became an icon in the area of philanthropy, becoming known as Denver’s “Mother of Charities.” In 1872, Jacobs helped organize and soon served as president of the Hebrew Ladies’ Benevolent Society, and in 1874 she helped found the nonsectarian Denver Ladies’ Relief Society, primarily to aid Denver’s ill and impoverished, and served as the organization’s first vice president.

In 1887, Mrs. Jacobs, along with Reverend Myron Reed and Father William O’Ryan, organized a federation of Denver charities that was the forerunner of the Community Chest, which, in turn, evolved into the modern, national United Way. Especially concerned with the plight of tuberculosis victims, Frances was also the primary impetus behind the founding of the National Jewish Hospital for Consumptives (NJH), which opened in Denver in 1899 and served thousands of patients from all over the United States. In 1900, when sixteen portraits of pioneers were selected to be placed in the windows of the dome of the Colorado state capitol building, Jacobs was chosen as one of the small elite group and the only woman. When she died in 1892 at the age of forty-nine, nearly 2,000 people attended her funeral in recognition of her impact on philanthropy in Colorado.

Text courtesy of Jeanne Abrams, Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society and Beck Archives, Center for Judaic Studies and Penrose Library, University of Denver.

Ed Stein 1946-

Political cartoonist Ed Stein is a brilliant and an important member of the Denver community. Born November 22, 1946, Ed is an American cartoonist and former editorial cartoonist for the now-closed Rocky Mountain News in Denver. Stein drew editorial cartoons five days a week, and previously published a local daily comic strip called Denver Square. He continues to draw editorial cartoons, which are syndicated by United Media, and have been printed in newspapers across the world in many languages. On September 20, 2010, he launched a syndicated national comic strip, entitled “Freshly Squeezed.”

Ed Stein’s story is part of the Community Narratives Project, a video element of the Mizel Museum’s permanent exhibit, 4,000 Year Road Trip: Gathering Sparks. The project began in 2008 as a collaboration with the Center for Digital Storytelling to augment an exhibit called Voices of Resilience. Mizel Museum staff has built the collection of short digital stories to over 45, with an additional 15 audio-only segments about community members with stories from the Pale of Settlement during the Holocaust. The stories are a great vehicle for the museum to share the life experiences of the Denver Jewish community, as well as to teach about Jewish life and culture, immigration, and inspiring accounts from individuals who are working to repair the world. Community Narratives Project stories can be viewed in the permanent exhibit and on iPads that can be checked out during your museum visit.

Here is Ed Stein’s digital story:

Text courtesy of Mizel Museum


Louis “Kid” Kaplan 190001-1970

Louis “Kid” Kaplan was born in 1901 or 1902 in Russia. When he was a boy, his family came to Meriden, Connecticut, where his father became a junk dealer. After a grade school education, Kaplan entered boxing and had his first professional match at the age of 19. Kaplan became boxing’s World Featherweight Champion in 1925. He was considered by Ring Record Book to be one of the ten best featherweights of all time. In addition to his skill, he became known for his sportsmanship and integrity, refusing to “throw” matches for money. Retiring undefeated in 1933, Kaplan became an insurance agent under Abraham Goldstein, owned a liquor store, and opened a restaurant in Hartford. Kaplan died in 1970.

Text courtesy of Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford

Annie Fisher 1883-1968

Annie Fisher devoted her life to public school education in Hartford, instituting many reforms aimed at aiding immigrant children and those with special needs. Fisher came to America as a child with her family to escape the persecution of Jews in Russia. She received a scholarship to attend Wesleyan University during the Wesleyans early experiment with co-education. After graduation, Fisher returned to Hartford to teach. She received her first full-time position at Barnard School only because she could speak the language of the large immigrant population. Realizing that students of vastly different ages were being put in class together without testing or special help, Fisher evaluated students and designed programs that fit their skills. Fisher wrote two English textbooks for the foreign-born that were in use for many years. Fisher became Hartford’s first female district superintendent and first female principal, but sometimes had to suffer the prejudices of colleagues who didn’t want to accept a female or a Jew in these positions. Gradually, however, she won the respect of her colleagues who saw value in her reforms. She also worked on gaining reforms in salary and pensions for both female teachers and teachers in general. When she retired in 1945, Fisher was held in great esteem and a Hartford elementary school was later named in her honor.

Text courtesy of Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford


Moses Elias Levy 1782-1854 And David Levy Yulee 1810-1886

Moses Elias Levy was one of the antebellum South’s most influential and interesting Jews. Born in Morocco where his father was a courtier to the sultan, through his career as a merchant shipper in the Caribbean, he was also one of the earliest and largest developers in Florida. He purchased 92,000 acres that were part of the Arredondo Spanish land grant by 1819.

As a refuge for Jews fleeing persecution in Europe, Moses Levy founded Pilgrimage Plantation, the first Jewish communitarian settlement in America, in 1822. At least five German Jewish families lived there. The 1,000-acre plantation operated until 1835 and contained houses, a sugar mill, saw mill, corn mill, stable and blacksmith shop. Levy reintroduced sugar cane and fruit trees to Florida as viable crops and established the first sugar cane plantation in Alachua County.

Pilgrimage was the first residence in Florida of “the architect of Florida” David Levy Yulee, a son of Moses Levy. Yulee (the family’s ancestral name in Morocco), brought Florida into statehood in 1845; was Florida’s first U. S. Senator; the first person of Jewish ancestry to serve in the U.S. Congress; and built Florida’s first cross-state railroad.

Moses Levy was a civil rights activist and America’s first Jewish abolitionist author in 1828. An early advocate of public education for both boys and girls, he was instrumental in establishing Florida’s first free public school in St. Augustine and served as the territory’s first education commissioner.

Text courtesy of Marcia Jo Zerivitz, Founding Executive Director, Jewish Museum of Florida


Louis Cohen 1849-1937

A banker, a railroad magnate, a public servant, and a philanthropist. All of these adjectives describe Louis Cohen of Sandersville, Georgia, a man whose community involvement helped to improve the lives of the people of Central Georgia.

Born in Germany in 1849 Louis Cohen immigrated with his parents to Georgia in 1852. Louis was raised in Americus, Georgia, and moved to Sandersville in 1877, where he established a general merchandise business. In 1885, along with Morris Happ, he established a banking house that later became the Banking House of Louis Cohen. Financial institutions, which had flourished in Georgia prior to the Civil War were few and far between in the next several decades which followed. The Banking House of Louis Cohen was one of only two in operation between Macon and Savannah. According to one account, the bank had worked a local miracle it “had emancipated our merchants from the bondage of the cotton factor and for the first time in history made the average merchant a free man.”

Described as “a conspicuous and worthy representative of that class of American citizens, native-born and naturalized, who have done so much toward rehabilitation the south and developing her magnificent possibilities,” Cohen led the campaign for the construction of the Sandersville and Tennille railway, serving as its president. This three mile shortline railroad is still in existence, providing excellent freight service to Washington County. In addition to his interests in the railroad and banking Cohn helped to establish the Sandersville-Tennile Telephone Company which later merged with Southern Bell, is credited with installing the first electric light system in Sandersville, served on the school board for 30 years, and was elected mayor of Sandersville in 1887.

Text courtesy of Sandy Berman, Archivist, The Breman Jewish Heritage & Holocaust Museum


Louise Rosenfield Noun 1908-2002

Louise Rosenfield Noun, social activist, art collector, author, philanthropist, and co-founder of the Iowa Women’s Archives, was born in Des Moines, Iowa, to Meyer and Rose Rosenfield. Noun graduated from Grinnell College in 1929 and received her M.A. in art history from Harvard in 1933.

Noun is widely recognized for her leadership and commitment to a number of organizations and causes. She served as president of the Des Moines chapter of the League of Women Voters in 1948, the Iowa Civil Liberties Union from 1964 to 1972, and the Des Moines chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) from 1974 to 1976. She was a charter member of the Iowa Women’s Political Caucus and instrumental in establishing the Young Women’s Resource Center in Des Moines and the Chrysalis Foundation to provide assistance to Iowa women. Noun was elected to the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame in 1981.

Louise Noun is also the author of several books including Strong-Minded Women: The Emergence of the Woman-Suffrage Movement in Iowa (1969); More Strong-Minded Women: Iowa Feminists Tell Their Stories (1992); Iowa Women in the WPA (1999); and Leader and Pariah: Annie Savery and the Campaign for Women’s Rights in Iowa (2002, posthumously).

With the sale from her collection of Frida Kahlo’s painting Self-Portrait with Loose Hair, Noun was able to endow the Iowa Women’s Archives (University of Iowa) along with her co-founder, Mary Louise Smith. The archives opened in 1992 as a repository for primary source material that documents the lives and experience of Iowa women.

This text is a condensed version of the finding aid for the Louise Rosenfield Noun papers at the Iowa Women’s Archives.

Alexander Levi 1809-1893

Alexander Levi has been credited with being the “founder of Jewry in Iowa.” He was born March 13, 1809 in Alsace, a province on France’s eastern border with Germany. Levi came to Dubuque on August 1, 1833, and opened a grocery store there. Over the years, he expanded his commercial operations into dry good, clothing and also the lead mining operations that were pivotal in the early settlement of Dubuque. Levi’s business interests were successful and he became one of Dubuque’s most prominent leaders. In 1847 Alexander Levi traveled back to France to marry a distant cousin, Minette Levi. They ultimately had five children: Eliza, Emile, Gustave, Celine (Celia), and Eugene.

In addition to his charitable contributions for Jewish causes, Levi’s philanthropy extended to the Presbyterian and Catholic Churches in Dubuque. He was instrumental in the formation of Dubuques first Jewish Congregation in the 1860s and contributed land for the Jewish section that became known as the Alexander Levi Cemetery Association of Dubuque. Alexander Levi died in Dubuque on March 31, 1893 and is buried in the cemetery section that he established. A tall obelisk marks the grave of Iowas first Jewish Pioneer.

In 1837, Levi traveled to St. Louis along with several other foreign born residents of the Iowa Territory. The story is told that as these men were standing in line waiting to become official citizens of the United States, the gentleman in front of Levi asked him to change places because he wanted to observe the process before taking part in it. Whether or not these were the actual circumstances in St. Louis, Alexander Levi is the first recorded foreigner to become a naturalized citizen in Iowa. Even more astounding is the fact that Iowa is the only state in the American Union in which the first naturalized citizen was a person of Jewish faith.

Text courtesy of the Iowa Jewish Historical Society, written by David Gradwohl for the Society’s newsletter, The CHAIowan 1 (1), 1998.


Judah Touro 1775-1854

Raised in Rhode Island, where his father was the leader of the Newport congregation, Judah Touro arrived in New Orleans in 1801. Using his contacts in New England, Touro built a successful trading businesses as a broker and wholesaler of goods made in the northeast and Europe. Touro purchased a lot of property in New Orleans as the city emerged as a commercial center of the American South. During the Battle of New Orleans, Touro fought heroically and suffered a serious wound. After his injury, Touro became a recluse, rarely venturing out in public as he continued to manage his significant financial interests.

Touro was not involved in the founding of the citys first Jewish congregation, and at first seemed more interested in supporting local Christian churches. He had bought a pew in a local Episcopal Church and bought the building of First Presbyterian Church so the congregation would not be evicted. Later in his life, Touro began to offer more financial support to Jewish institutions in the city, donating a building to the new congregation Dispersed of Judah. He also helped the Gates of Mercy congregation in their fundraising drive to build a synagogue. In 1854, he established Touro Infirmary, a charity hospital supported by the local Hebrew Benevolent Association. When Touro died in 1854, his will included many donations to Jewish institutions around the country, including over $100,000 to Jewish causes in New Orleans. Touro, who had little contact with the organized Jewish community during his lifetime, had become the first great Jewish philanthropist, whose largesse benefited congregations across the United States.

Text courtesy of Dr. Stuart Rockoff, Director, History Department, Institute of Southern Jewish Life


Henrietta Szold 1860-1945

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50 States/50 Stories – May is Jewish American Heritage Month

National American Indian Heritage Month | Law Library of …

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National American Indian Heritage Month celebrates and recognizes the accomplishments of the peoples who were the original inhabitants, explorers and settlers of the United States.

National American Indian Heritage Month had its origins in 1986 when Congress passed Pub. L. 99-471 (PDF, 93KB) which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week of November 23-30, 1986 as American Indian Week. As directed by Congress, President Reagan issued Presidential Proclamation 5577 (external link) in November 1986 proclaiming the first American Indian Week. Both law and proclamation recognized the American Indians as the first inhabitants of the lands that now constitute the United States as well as making mention of their contributions to American society:

In 1987 Congress passed Pub. L. 100-171 which again called upon the President to designate the week of November 22-28, 1987 as American Indian Week while in 1988 Congress passed Pub. L. 100-450 which designated the week of September 23-30, 1988 as National American Indian Heritage Week. According to Pub. L. 100-450 this change from November to September was made because the last week of September begins the harvest season in the United States. Then in 1989 Congress passed Pub. L. 101-188 which asked the President to proclaim the week of December 3-9, 1989 as National American Indian Heritage Week.

As requested by Congress, Presidents Reagan and George Bush issued annual proclamations in 1987, 1988, and 1989 for National American Indian Week, honoring the achievements of the American Indians.

In 1990 Congress passed Pub. L. 101-343 (PDF, 211KB) which authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation designating the month of November 1990 as National American Indian Heritage Month. Congress chose the month of the November to recognize the American Indians as this month concluded the traditional harvest season and was generally a time of thanksgiving and celebration for the American Indians. President George W. Bush issued Presidential Proclamation 6230 (external link) which paid tribute to the rich history and culture of the American Indian tribes. In 1991 Congress passed Pub. L. 102-123 which authorized and requested the President proclaim the months of November 1991 and 1992 as National American Indian Heritage Month. Congress passed Pub. L. 103-462 authorized the President to proclaim November 1993 and 1994 as National American Indian Heritage Month.

Since 1995 Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama have issued annual proclamations which designate November as National American Indian Heritage Month. These proclamations celebrate the contributions of the American Indians and urge the peoples of the United States to learn more about the American Indian cultures.

The public laws between 1986 and 1988 which designate a week in November as American Indian Heritage Week are published in the United States Statutes at Large which is available at many Federal depository libraries. The specific citations are as follows:

Presidential Proclamations and Executive Orders have been used by presidents to rule on substantive issues of law; to administrate the executive branch of government; and to make general announcements to the public. These general announcements which exhort the public to observe a holiday such as Thanksgiving or honor a particular group of citizens as in National Black History Month are usually issued in the form of a Presidential Proclamation. On many occasions Congress will pass a law specifically requesting the President to take certain action such as proclaiming the recognition of a particular group of citizens as Jewish or Hispanic Americans.

Listed below are links to the Presidential Proclamations for American Indian Week or National American Indian Heritage Month beginning with 1986 along with the citations to the Code of Federal Regulations or the Federal Register the official publications for Presidential Proclamations.

Presidential proclamations as well as Presidential statements, messages, remarks for National American Indian Heritage Month between 1997-2010 can be searched from the Government Printing Offices Advanced Search page in the collections for the Code of Federal Regulations, the Compilation of Presidential Documents and the Federal Register.

Presidential proclamations for the annual observances of American Indian Week and National American Indian Heritage Month between 1986-1996 can be browsed through American Presidency Project (external link) by selecting the year and clicking on the Display button.

Treaties and agreements between the United States and the American Indian peoples between 1778 and 1971 can be found in Kapplers Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties (external link).

Library of Congress: Native American Heritage Month

National Indian Law Library (external link)

American Indian Library Association (external link)

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Jewish American Heritage Month Local Hero: Janice … – KCET

… against genocide and mass atrocities is at the heart of Janice Kamenir-Reznik and Jewish World Watch (JWW), the nonprofit she co-founded and …

Janice Kamenir-Reznik is a 2013 Local Heroes honoree for Jewish …

In 2013, when Harry Corre was selected as a Local Hero for Jewish American Heritage Month, the 90-year-old was … year when he was selected as an honoree for the Local Heroes Jewish American Heritage Month. Although we were unable to get in …

… Justice – Humanitarian Award and the 2011 Kokoro – Local Community Heroes Awards. To learn more about the Little Tokyo Service Center, …

Local Heroes recognized activists, educators, community leaders, and visionaries — … We are currently seeking sponsorship for the Local Heroes program and therefore will not have Local Heroes …

Union Bank and KCET are looking for outstanding men and women who have made significant contributions to improve our community. These are the nomination guidelines.

… television station, will broadcast its annual Local Heroes Awards Cultural Diversity Celebration on Nov. … the Emmy, duPont-Columbia and Peabody Award-winning SoCal Connected , a hard-hitting prime-time weekly television news program …

… fusion group that formed twelve years ago as part of a local labor protest. As a group, they have won several major music awards, … fusion group that formed twelve years ago as part of a local labor protest. As a group, they have won several major music awards, …

Local Heroes Celebration 2014, hosted by Val Zavala, is a 60-minute program that … of 12 outstanding community leaders. The 2014 Local Heroes Award honorees include: Florencia Molina comes to community …

… in collaboration with Union Bank, launched the annual Local Heroes Awards in celebration of national commemorative heritage months. The …

Jewish American Heritage Month Local Hero: Janice … – KCET

National Native American Heritage Month 2016 – Days Of Year

November, 2016 is National Native American Heritage Month 2016. Native American Missions Native American Christian Missions. 95+ Mission Trips to choose from

Yeah they should publicize the other minority’s months, because it’s be nice to learn about the histories of other races. Yeah they do have months for all minorities. Yeah Native American month(National American Indian Heritage Month) is in November. Asians got a month (Asian Pacific American History Month) it’s in May. Hispanic Heritage Month is on September 15 – October 12. They even have months for white people like Greek-American Heritage Month, Irish-American Heritage Month (both in March), Jewish-American Heritage Month (in May), German-American Heritage Month, National Italian-American Heritage Month, and Polish-American Heritage Month (all in October). There even have National Tartan Day (Scottish-American) on April 6th. But they just aren’t well-known. I still don’t get why the others aren’t talk about more often. I think they reason why Black History month is more popular than the rest is because of slavery, civil right movement, etc. people tend to forget about the other races. I think some people tend to think that hispanics just recently cross the border and Asians just recently got off the boat. I don’t think a lot of people realizes that these people both here for awhile too. A continuous Hispanic presence in the territory of the United States has existed since the 16th century, earlier than any other group after the Native American. Asians been here since 1763 when Filipinos established the small settlement of Saint Malo in the bayous of current-day Louisiana after fleeing mistreatment aboard Spanish ships. Chinese first come to here(Hawaii) in 1778. Some Island-born Chinese can claim to be 7th generation.

So if you didn’t want to read what I wrote up there pretty much what I’m saying is that every race deserve to have there history told not just black people. So maybe if more people become aware of the other heritage months, maybe they will become more well-known and have commericals for them and we have more people celebriting them.


Greek-American Heritage Month

Irish-American Heritage Month

April 6th

National Tartan Day (Scottish-American)


Asian Pacific American History Month

Jewish-American Heritage Month


Caribbean-American Heritage Month

September 15 – October 12

Hispanic Heritage Month


German-American Heritage Month

National Italian-American Heritage Month

Polish-American Heritage Month


National American Indian Heritage Month

Black History Month?

Not to answer your question with a question, but which is it that you want to do: stop talking about black history, or incorporate it in history-at-large? Black History Month, National Hispanic Heritage Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Native American Heritage Month, LGBT History Month, Women’s History Month, and Jewish American Heritage Month all exist because members of these groups are historically underrepresented in the teaching of history. Their accomplishments and contributions to society are all too often deemed inconsequential and not worth discussing. These communities have taken it on themselves to promote historical figures and events as a way to remember the past and to educate the public. If all you’ve learned about black history in your lifetime is slavery, MLK, Rosa Parks, and Malcolm X, some of the fault is yours. There is a treasure trove of information available to anyone who’s interested. The best part is, it’s available all year long.

Why are there no Native American days designated as National Holidays?

Yes, the government acknowledges it. However, most school districts fail to follow suite.

“November is Native American Heritage Month –

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans.”

Maybe you need to expand the websites you references. Anything that ends in .gov or .edu is a legit resource.

Or you could always do your research and submit your own info into wikepedia.

Edit: Just read the rest of your question. We DO have Native American Music Awards. Google NAMA or Nammy. Or check out this site:

They just aren’t as publisicied as the other awards programs. A relative of mine was runner up in the hip-hop rap category.

Why? I don’t know. I think probably it would hurt Hollywood if people realized we look nothing like what they tell the world we should look like. And, in all honesty, if all the non-Natives seen us as people- just like everyone else, they might expect the governent to treat us as such.

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National Native American Heritage Month 2016 – Days Of Year

Jewish American Heritage Month – Wikipedia, the free …

Jewish American Heritage Month

President Obama welcomes guests to 2010 JAHM White House reception.

Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM) is an annual recognition and celebration of Jewish American achievements in and contributions to the United States of America. It is observed annually in the U.S. during the month of May.[1]

JAHM was set into law by President George W. Bush in 2006, according to the Jewish American Heritage Month Coalition. This is the achievement of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), as well as the Jewish Museum of Florida and the South Florida Jewish Community.[2] A similar month exists in Florida as Florida Jewish History Month but it occurs in January.[3]

President George W. Bush announced that May would be Jewish American Heritage Month in April 2006. The announcement was an achievement in the effort of the Jewish Museum of Florida and South Florida Jewish Community leaders for a celebration of Jewish Americans and Jewish American Heritage.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) urged the president to proclaim a month that would recognize the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to America and the American culture. The resolutions were passed unanimously, first in the United States House of Representatives in December 2005 and later in the United States Senate in February 2006.[4]

The Jewish American Heritage Month Coalition states that, “JAHM also enables the exploration of the meaning of religious pluralism, cultural diversity, and participation in American civic culture.”[5]

According to Library of Congress hosted website,, May was chosen as the month of Jewish American Heritage Month because of the successful 350th Anniversary Celebration of Jews in America.[6]

Celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month is encouraged on a national level. In some schools, assemblies have been held in celebration.

JAHM has been recognized in Madison Square Garden in New York City. It has also been recognized in some Jewish museums. Additionally, some institutions, including the Library of Congress, have included shorter periods within the month for special lectures, programs, or displays, such as the Library of Congress “Jewish Heritage Week” lecture series.

On May 10, 2010, the White House issued a press release noting that on Thursday, May 27, 2010,

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will host the first ever White House reception in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month. The reception serves as an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the range and depth of Jewish American heritage and contributions to American culture, with guests representing the many walks of life that have helped weave the fabric of American history. Invitees include a range of community leaders and prominent Jewish Americans from Olympians and professional athletes to members of Congress, business leaders, scholars, military veterans, and astronauts.

At the May 27, 2010, reception, President Obama welcomed the invited guests, which included “members of the House and Senate, two justices of the Supreme Court, Olympic athletes, entrepreneurs, Rabbinical scholars”, and he made special mention of Sandy Koufax, famous in the Jewish community for refusing to play baseball on Yom Kippur. He praised “the diversity of talents and accomplishments” that the Jewish community had brought to the United States since pre-Revolutionary times, saying that, “Even before we were a nation, we were a sanctuary for Jews seeking to live without the specter of violence or exile,” from the time “a band of 23 Jewish refugees to a place called New Amsterdam more than 350 years ago.”[7][8]

President Obama scheduled a second White House reception in honor of JAHM for May 17, 2011.[9] The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reported that it was “less formal than the inaugural one last year, with brief remarks and a small Marine Corps band playing klezmer music.”[10] The President noted the presence, among others, of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel, and Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, newly appointed as Chair of the Democratic National Committee.[10]

In his remarks, President Obama noted that Jewish Americans “persevered despite unspeakable discrimination and adversity at times.”[11] Despite the challenges these American Jews faced, the President noted their achievements in “the arts, science, the military, business and industry, and in public and community service.”[11] In his remarks, he said:

“This month is a chance for Americans of every faith to appreciate the contributions of the Jewish people throughout our history – often in the face of unspeakable discrimination and adversity. For hundreds of years, Jewish Americans have fought heroically in battle and inspired us to pursue peace. Theyve built our cities, cured our sick. Theyve paved the way in the sciences and the law, in our politics and in the arts. They remain our leaders, our teachers, our neighbors and our friends. Not bad for a band of believers who have been tested from the moment that they came together and professed their faith. The Jewish people have always persevered. And thats why today is about celebrating the people in this room, the thousands who came before, the generations who will shape the future of our country and the future of the world.”[12]

In addition, a Marine Corps band playing klezmer music, and the “Maccabeats,” a Yeshiva University a cappella group, provided entertainment.[10]

In addition to signing the proclamation marking May 2015 as the annual Jewish American Heritage Month, the White House shared plans for an address by President Obama on May 22, 2015 at Adas Israel Congregation, a large Washington, D.C. synagogue.[13] The date of the visit coincides with Solidarity Sabbath, a Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice initiative asking world leaders to show support for the fight against anti-semitism.[13]

Since 2006, JAHM programs have taken place across the country, but in March 2007 the JAHM Coalition was formed and convened by United Jewish Communities (now The Jewish Federations of North America), The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, the Jewish Women’s Archive (JWA), (AJA) and the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS), to encourage and support future programs. The JAHM Coalition is composed of the directors of major national Jewish historical and cultural organizations including the AJA, AJHS, JWA, the National Museum of American Jewish History, the Council of American Jewish Museums (CAJM), Jewish Museum of Florida, and the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington. In 2009, the Coalition named a national coordinator.[14]

(federal) = federal holidays, (state) = state holidays, (religious) = religious holidays, (week) = weeklong holidays, (month) = monthlong holidays, (36) = Title 36 Observances and Ceremonies Bolded text indicates major holidays that are commonly celebrated by Americans, which often represent the major celebrations of the month.[1][2]

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Jewish American Heritage Month – Wikipedia, the free …

Native American Indian Heritage Month – Wikipedia, the …

On August 3, 1990 President of the United States George H. W. Bush declared the month of November as National American Indian Heritage Month, thereafter commonly referred to as Native American Heritage Month. First sponsor of “American Indian Heritage Month” was through the American Indian Heritage Foundation by the founder Pale Moon Rose, of Cherokee-Seneca descent and an adopted Ojibwa, whose Indian name Win-yan-sa-han-wi “Princess of the Pale Moon” was given to her by Alfred Michael “Chief” Venne [1][1]

The Bill read in part that the President has authorized and requested to call upon Federal, State and local Governments, groups and organizations and the people of the United States to observe such month with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities. This was a landmark Bill honoring Americas Tribal people.

This commemorative month aims to provide a platform for Native people in the United States of America to share their culture, traditions, music, crafts, dance, and ways and concepts of life. This gives Native people the opportunity to express to their community, both city, county and state officials their concerns and solutions for building bridges of understanding and friendship in their local area.

Federal Agencies are encouraged to provide educational programs for their employees regarding Native American history, rights, culture and contemporary issues, to better assist them in their jobs and for overall awareness.

101st Congress Public Law 101-343 November 1990 National American Indian Heritage Month

101st Congress Public Law 101-188 December 39, 1989 (American Indian Week)

100th Congress Public Law 100-450, September 2330, 1988 (American Indian Week)

100th Congress Public Law 100-171, November 2228, 1987 (American Indian Week)

99th Congress Public Law 99-471, November 2330, 1986 (American Indian Week)

97th Congress Public Law 97-445, May 13, 1983 (American Indian Day)

Presidential Proclamation Native American Heritage Month 2013

(federal) = federal holidays, (state) = state holidays, (religious) = religious holidays, (week) = weeklong holidays, (month) = monthlong holidays, (36) = Title 36 Observances and Ceremonies Bolded text indicates major holidays that are commonly celebrated by Americans, which often represent the major celebrations of the month.[1][2]

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Native American Indian Heritage Month – Wikipedia, the …