May is American Jewish Heritage Month, a time to acknowledge and reflect on the important role that Jewish Americans have played in the history of this country.
William Daroff, CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, basically an organization looking out for the best interests of American Jews, makes the case that America’s Founding Fathers and the Jewish community were a good match. “America was built on a strong ethical tradition of family and community — foundational values to Jewish Americans.”
Perhaps America’s most well-known Jews are those in the realm of entertainment — film and television on both sides of the camera. But a deeper symbol of the incorporation of Jews in American life is Jewish involvement in the US military.
Daroff points out, “In every military conflict beginning with the Revolutionary War, thousands of Jewish Americans valiantly defended our country as members of the United States Armed Forces. These courageous men and women served to protect their fellow vitizens and to advance the cause of freedom, laying the foundation of peace for others to follow. One only needs to go to Arlington or Normandy to see the Stars of David that attest to this sacrifice.”
In next week’s IJN, please notice that our annual Memorial Day list of Colorado’s Jewish war dead and deceased veterans continues to expand. It now fills nearly three full newspaper pages in the smallest readable font size. Next weekend will certainly be a time to remember, with the juxtaposition of Shavuot yizkor and Memorial Day just two days apart.
In the face of another cycle of anti-Semitism in this country and around the world, Jewish American Heritage Month serves to bolster the American Jewish psyche and focus on the mutually-beneficial relationship between the United States of America and its Jewish citizens.
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