(April 30, 2020 / JNS) U.S. President Donald Trump declared May “Jewish American Heritage Month,” marking the 14th year of the celebration of Jewish Americans.
“In 1654, the first Jewish settlers arrived in New Amsterdam, present day New York City, seeking the freedom to practice their faith,” stated the proclamation. “In the centuries since, Jewish Americans have contributed in countless ways to our country’s culture and character.”
“From the arts and sciences to business and public service, nearly every facet of our society has benefitted from the talent, inspiration, vision, expertise, ingenuity, and sacrifice of Jewish Americans. We honor their spirit and resiliency during Jewish American Heritage Month and celebrate the myriad of ways they enrich our country and the world.”
The proclamation went on to state, “Throughout history, the Jewish people have demonstrated an unbreakable spirit, overcoming suffering, cruel oppression, violence, and bigotry. Tragically, Jewish men, women, and children continue to face anti-Semitic discrimination, persecution, and violence today, and Jewish institutions and places of worship remain targets of vandalism and destruction.”
The document cited the April 2019 shooting at Chabad of Poway in Southern California, where one person was killed and three others were injured, as an example of “unconscionable acts” that “are an abomination to all decent and compassionate people.”
“Hatred is intolerable and has no place in our hearts or in our society,” stated the proclamation. “We must therefore vigorously confront anti-Semitic discrimination and violence against members of the Jewish community.”
Trump cited signing an executive order in December combating anti-Semitism, especially directed towards college campuses, as an example of how his administration has been fighting bigotry against Jews.
“This month, we reaffirm our commitment to never compromise our steadfast support for the Jewish community, our rejection of anti-Semitic bigotry, and our disdain for malicious attacks of hatred,” stated the executive document. “Jewish Americans strengthen, sustain, and inspire our country through dedication to family, respect for cherished traditions, and commitment to the values of justice and equality that unite Americans of every faith and background. We give thanks for the profound contributions that Jewish Americans continue to make to our society, and way of life.”
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