May is Jewish American Heritage Month

jewish and american flags

Jewish American Heritage month was established in 2006 by then president George W. Bush.  During the month of May, we celebrate the various contributions made by the Jewish community to our country.  We seek to educate people about the Jewish culture and their history.  Being Jewish American myself, I have fond memories of speaking Hebrew prayers over our meals and before bed. We ate kosher foods, and lit the menorah during Hanukkah.  Grandma was Savta and mom was Eema.  While I no longer follow the traditions I was raised with early in my life, I am still happy to revisit some of the many Jewish traditions this month that I may have forgotten over the years.

Here are a few things to know about being Jewish American:

  • Judaism, a religious faith that began in the Middle East over 3,500 years ago, is the world’s oldest monotheistic religion.
  • A Jewish house of worship is called a synagogue, and the most important religious text in Judaism is the Torah.
  • There are strict dietary laws, and the word "kosher" defines which foods a person can and cannot eat, and also how they should produce and handle certain foods.

The library has many great resources that can help you learn more about the Jewish immigrant experience, traditional Jewish foods, and about famous Jewish Americans who have made lasting contributions to our country.  I've listed a few below. By searching the library catalog for "jewish american" you will find even more resources in formats that suit the way you enjoy learning.

Jewish American History and Culture

Jewish Women in America An Historical Encyclopedia, book cover
The Jewish Americans Three Centuries of Jewish Voices in America, book cover
American Judaism, book cover
A Fine Romance Jewish Songwriters, American Songs, book cover
Lower East Side Memories a Jewish Place in America, book cover
The Wonders of America Reinventing Jewish Culture 1880-1950, book cover