Jewish American Heritage Month

May is 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 www.jahm.us.

"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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