Obama Kicks Off Jewish American Heritage Month in May
US President Barack Obama kicked off America's annual Jewish American Heritage Month on Sunday, praising the contribution of Jews to the United States.
"The Jewish American story is an essential chapter of the American narrative," President Obama said in a proclamation issued at the end of April. "It is one of refuge from persecution; of commitment to service, faith, democracy, and peace; and of tireless work to achieve success. As leaders in every facet of American life -- from athletics, entertainment, and the arts to academia, business, government, and our Armed Forces -- Jewish Americans have shaped our Nation and helped steer the course of our history. We are a stronger and more hopeful country because so many Jews from around the world have made America their home."
Last year, President Obama praised American Jews for demonstrating "that Americans can choose to maintain cultural traditions while honoring the principles and beliefs that bind them together as American," and said Jews had made "unparalleled contributions."
Celebrated every May, Jewish American Heritage Month was put into law by President George W. Bush in 2006. It was set into motion by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA). It entails celebrations and educational programs through institutions such as the Library of Congress, the National Archives and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.