Jewish women were definitely front and center at the first ever White House reception marking Jewish American Heritage month. Appropriately so, since it was a woman – Representative Deborah Wasserman Schultz – who spearheaded the Congressional campaign to establish Jewish American Heritage month. It was another woman – Marcia Zerivitz, who put the bug in Wasserman Schultz’ ear; and yet another woman, Abby Schwartz, who, as National Coordinator of the Jewish American Heritage Month Coalition, has worked tirelessly to turn a proclamation into a broad based local, regional and national celebration.
According to Haaretz, everyone is trying to figure out who is on the guest list for the first ever White House reception in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month. We have heard that big-name Jews in the arts, sports, and other fields will be there. There have been whispers about Sandy Koufax, Judy Blume, and Dara Torres, as well as activists and scientists.
We don't know about Judy Blume or Dara Torres, but we can give you a BIG HINT about one woman attending!
As April comes to a close and as we kick off Jewish American Heritage Month in May, we're featuring an oral history clip of Rita Arditti as our podcast of the month. With her lilting Spanish-accented English, Arditti's voice is striking, as her journey is unique - perhaps one that many of us don't immediately associate with Jewish American heritage.
What connects the Statue of Liberty with Emma Lazarus? Susan Sontag with Gilda Radner? Patriotism with labor protests? Musical theatre and domestic ritual with potato kugel and halvah? You guessed it: JEWISH AMERICAN HERITAGE!