May is Jewish American Heritage Month, officially recognized by President George W. Bush on April 20, 2006. Each year this proclamation is renewed by the current president to recognize and celebrate Jewish American culture, achievements and contributions since they first arrived in New Amsterdam, the southern tip of Manhattan Island, in 1654.
What defines being Jewish American? Is it a culture, ethnic group, or religion? There are many resources devoted to Jewish American history that address these questions. One in particular is a collaborative web portal project created especially for Jewish American Heritage Month by the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and can be located at http://www.jewishheritagemonth.gov/. Another excellent site is the American Jewish Historical Society which provides access to books, articles, photographs, etc., devoted to Jewish American history in the U.S., from 1654 to present day. The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives is striving to preserve Jewish life and learning for generations of people.
In honor of Jewish American Heritage Month, we would like to pay homage to some of the more notable Jewish American people who have made significant contributions over the years:
Barbara Streisand, Actress, Singer, Director, Producer
Steven Spielberg, Director, Producer
Albert Einstein, Physicist
Bernie Sanders, Politician
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice
Isaac Asimov, Author
Arthur Miller, Playwright, Screenwriter, Novelist
Sandy Koufax, Baseball Player
Noam Chomsky, Philosopher, Linguist, Historian, Activist
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook
To learn more about Jewish American culture, check out these links: