You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share
Blog:
Jewesses with Attitude

Celebrating Jewish American Heritage Month at the White House: Looking toward the future

This year’s White House celebration of Jewish American Heritage month was a simpler affair than in years past. The program was President Obama, and his remarks were brief. (Watch the President's speech, or read the full remarks.) While others in the room resonated to the President's comments on antisemitism or on Israel, the statement that stood out for me came early in his remarks as he noted the occasion that brought those of us gathered in the East Room together.

“We don’t just celebrate all that American Jews have done for our country. We also look toward the future.” 

My own preference would have been for a stronger link, a conjunction that more forcefully expressed the important ways in which knowledge of what American Jews have done – as immigrants, as members of a minority group or as participants in faith based communities -- both inspires and empowers new generations of Jews and other Americans to imagine what they can do or contribute as American citizens and global citizens toward a better future for all.

That is what motivated Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to push for legislation authorizing Jewish American Heritage Month. And that is what animates our daily work at the Jewish Women’s Archive – promoting knowledge of our past in order to foster a more just and equitable future.

President Obama on Jewish American Heritage Month, 2012
Full image

President Obama speaking at the White House reception for Jewish American Heritage Month, 2012.

Gail T. Reimer with Debbie Wasserman Schultz at the 2012 Jewish American Heritage Month White House reception
Full image

Gail T. Reimer with Debbie Wasserman Schultz at the 2012 Jewish American Heritage Month White House reception.

From left to right: Ivy Barsky, Gail T. Reimer, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

How to cite this page

Reimer, Gail. "Celebrating Jewish American Heritage Month at the White House: Looking toward the future." 5 June 2012. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on October 1, 2016) <http://jwa.org/blog/celebrating-jewish-american-heritage-month-at-white-house-looking-toward-future>.

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Poll

Which topics pique your interest on the JWA blog?

Sign Up for JWA eNews

 

Twitter

23 hr
We can't wait to try this! JWA's new food blogger shares her delicious for dinner… https://t.co/ICmPzID1FL
2 days
What "dangerous" books do you read? JWA staff rounded up their favorite banned books to celebrate !… https://t.co/IxM8AHJy6Q