Mayer, Rozic Spearhead Recognition of Jewish American Heritage Month in New York

Memorialize American Jewish contributions with legislative resolution
May 7, 2018

Albany, NY – This week, State Senator Shelley Mayer (D-Westchester) and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows) announced a resolution memorializing May 2018 as Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM). The resolution to be adopted recognizes the history and contributions of generations of Jewish Americans to the United States.

“Beginning with America’s oldest Jewish congregation, New York has been home to a thriving and growing Jewish community,” said Rozic. “With JAHM we can focus on educating people on the contributions Jews have made throughout our country's history with an eye towards reducing anti-Semitism and promoting tolerance and understanding.”

State Senator Shelley Mayer said, "I am proud to introduce a resolution in the State Senate proclaiming the month of May 2018 as Jewish American Heritage Month in the State of New York. The month also serves as a reminder of the special relationship between the United States, and particularly New York, and Israel. As a lifelong New Yorker and a Jewish legislator, I recognize the importance of honoring the many contributions Jewish-Americans have made to American life and especially New York State. From the sciences, to the humanities, the arts, and everything in between, Jewish-Americans have been among those making substantial contributions to the richness of American life. Most significantly, Jewish-Americans have walked arm-in-arm with those of diverse faiths working to repair the world and seek justice. It is this commitment in particular that rests so comfortably among cherished American values.”

Jewish American Heritage Month has been celebrated every May since 2006 when President George W. Bush proclaimed that May would be Jewish American Heritage Month. It serves to highlight the achievements of the American Jewish community across the country. This year's theme for JAHM is Jewish Contributions to American Music.

Rozic and Mayer have long supported efforts to promote the security of the American Jewish community including sponsoring legislation to curb hate crimes and ensuring funding for Holocaust survivors’ programs in the state budget.

The full text of the resolution is below.

LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION Memorializing Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim May 2018, as Jewish American Heritage Month in the State of New York

WHEREAS, The month of May has been proclaimed as Jewish American Heritage Month since 2006 and each year people across the nation recognize and celebrate Jewish achievements and contributions to the United States; and

WHEREAS, For thousands of years, the Jewish people have proudly sustained their identity and traditions while persevering in the face of religious persecution, enslavement, and the horrors of the Holocaust; and

WHEREAS, In search of religious toleration and freedom from persecution, they established North America’s first Jewish community and devoted their skills and relentless energy to help build what would become New York City; and

WHEREAS, Ever since, Jewish Americans have achieved great success and greatly contributed to the culture and history of New York while strengthening the fabric of society; and

WHEREAS, As educators, journalists, scientists, physicians, lawyers, artists, and humanitarians, Jewish Americans have made vital contributions to the development of our communities, academic institutions, civic organizations, and businesses; and

WHEREAS, Jewish Americans have continued their strong support for ending discrimination in voting, employment, public accommodation, and in society at large, by prominently participating in virtually every civil rights effort in the American experience, including those for women, farmworkers, the disabled, and for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans; and

WHEREAS, Enriched with contrasting stories of achievement and adversity, success and unparalleled tragedy, the culture and heritage of Jewish Americans has provided our State and the nation with a pathway to guide us through periods of growth and expansion as well as depression and conflict; and

WHEREAS, Jewish American Heritage Month is an opportunity to remember and thank the many Jewish Americans who defend this nation’s ideals as members of the United States Armed Forces; and

WHEREAS, Jewish American Heritage Month is also a time to renew this nation’s unbreakable bond with the nation of Israel. This bond is a partnership built on mutual interests and shared ideals that transcend politics. Israel and the United States of America are enriched by diversity and faith, fueled by innovation, and ruled not only by men and women, but also by laws; and

WHEREAS, In order to properly recognize the diverse contributions and achievements of Jewish Americans as well as to preserve and protect their history and culture for generations to come, it is altogether proper and fitting that we take this opportunity to continue learning from Jewish heritage; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this legislative body pause in its deliberations to recognize May 2018 as Jewish American Heritage Month in the State of New York; and be it further

RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be transmitted to the Consul General of Israel for New York, Dani Dayan.