American Jewish month
by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2006-04-26
American Jews have something to celebrate following US President George Bush's announcement that May will be Jewish American Heritage Month.
The proclamation comes after lobbying by groups and politicians and will replace the annual Jewish American Heritage week which takes place in April.
In his statement, President Bush said:
"Since arriving in 1654, Jewish Americans have achieved great success, strengthened our country, and helped shape our way of life. Through their deep commitment to faith, family, and community, Jewish Americans remind us of a basic belief that guided the founding of this Nation: that there is an Almighty who watches over the affairs of men and values every life. The Jewish people have enriched our culture and contributed to a more compassionate and hopeful America."
"I call upon all Americans to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities that honor the significant contributions Jewish Americans have made to our Nation."
According to those involved, the month will focus on culture and identity.
"We've all observed a precipitous rise in bigotry and anti-Semitism across the country and globally," said politician Debbie Wasserman Schultz who was behind it. "If through educational and cultural programming we can foster understanding and tolerance, that would be a significant accomplishment," she told the Miami Herald.
"Hopefully, cultural and educational programs for a solid month every year will soak into the America psyche," Wasserman Schultz added.