Jewish American Heritage Month
May 3, 2023 | DEI Department
Evident Change is happy to commemorate Jewish American Heritage Month. We are grateful for the contributions and achievements of the Jewish community in history, military, science, government, and more, which have helped our country thrive and prosper.
A small group of openly Jewish settlers were the first known Jews to arrive in America. They came to New Amsterdam (New York) in 1654, looking for better opportunities and a safe place to practice religion. Many members of the Jewish community have been courageous advocates, fighting against stereotypes, discrimination, and anti-Semitism. They have also been on the front lines fighting for other historically marginalized groups; contributing to the civil rights movement; and making an impact at the polls fighting for justice, equality, and freedom for all.
In 2006, the month of May was proclaimed Jewish American Heritage Month as the result of a campaign led by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the late Senator Arlen Specter. May was chosen because it marked the celebration of the 350th anniversary of American Jewish history.
Community Advocates Past and Present
The late Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the first Jewish woman Supreme Court justice. Justice Ginsburg is well known for fighting for gender equality, civil rights, and LGBTQ+ community rights. She passed away in 2020.
“Fight for the things you care about but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” —Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Jewish American Heritage Month: Did You Know
- The 23 adults and children who would form the first Jewish community in the United States came from Brazil in 1654.
- Today, 7.5 million Jewish Americans make up roughly 2.25% of the US population, with researchers estimating that Jews of color comprise at least 12–15% of American Jews.
- Russian Jewish immigrant Irving Berlin wrote the iconic anthem “God Bless America” in 1918 while serving in the US Army during World War I.
A Call for Action
As hate crimes against Jews increase across the United States, it is our duty to stand firm against anti-Semitic attacks. Often these incidents are underreported, giving the illusion that hate crimes against Jews are not being committed. Evident Change stands in solidarity with our Jewish community. Thank you for your resilience and perseverance, and for standing up for equality and justice.
Ways To Honor and Celebrate Jewish Heritage Month
- Virtual Jewish Museum
- Visit the Reform Judaism website for 14 ways to celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month