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Jewish American Heritage Month

Jewish American Heritage Month

May is Jewish American Heritage Month. This month serves as a time to celebrate the contributions and experiences of Jewish Americans throughout our nation’s history. This month also reminds us that our country’s greatness lies in its diversity.

The White House Proclamation states, “Jewish American culture has been inextricably woven into the fabric of our country. Jewish American suffragists, activists, and leaders marched for civil rights, women’s rights, and voting rights. Jewish American scientists, doctors, and engineers have made scientific breakthroughs that define America as a land of possibilities. They have served our Nation in uniform, on the Nation’s highest courts, and at the highest levels of my Administration. As public servants, artists, entertainers, journalists, and poets, they have helped write the story of America, making it—as Emma Lazarus’ poem on the Statue of Liberty states—a home for the ‘huddled masses yearning to breathe free.’”

Today, approximately 7.6 million Jewish Americans make up roughly 2.4% of the U.S. population. A quarter of Jewish Americans live in the New York City metropolitan area; our city has the second-largest Jewish population of any city in the world! We have many people on staff and people we serve who are Jewish American.

The city’s large Jewish population has produced trailblazers in nearly every field imaginable: whether it’s Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, composer Irving Berlin, or baseball star Hank Greenberg, there are countless Jewish New Yorkers whose contributions to our society and culture we commemorate this month, and all year long.

Unfortunately, Jewish Americans continue to face discrimination and prejudice in our city and our country. There has been a staggering rise of antisemitism in our country since the start of the Israel-Hamas war. At S:US, we stand with our staff, friends, neighbors, the people we serve, and all Jewish Americans to combat antisemitism and other forms of hate. We will continue to work towards racial equity and social justice.

If you or someone you know has faced harassment or discrimination, contact the NYC Commission on Human Rights by filling out an online form or by calling 212-416-0197. If you are a victim of or witness a hate crime, call 911. There is language support if you need interpretation services.

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