California Educator

April/May 2023

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 25 of 61

In April 2006, President George W. Bush proclaimed May as Jewish American Heritage Month, recognizing the his- tory of Jewish contributions to American culture. May was chosen because of the May 2004 celebration of the 350th anniversary of the American Jewish community (dating from a settlement of Jewish refugees from Brazil in New Amsterdam in 1654). " The Jewish American experience and our nation as a whole have always been held together by the forces of hope and resilience," former President Barack Obama said in 2016. "During Jewish American Heritage Month...let us carry forward our mutual legacy, grounded in our interconnected roots, and affirm that it is from the extraordinary richness of our bond that we draw strength." The month exists to empower communities across the country to celebrate the inspiring history of Jewish people in America; educate diverse public audiences about Jewish culture; and spark crucial conversations about the American Jewish present and future. Educators can access relevant primary sources and document-based activities spanning the course of Ameri- can history, created by the National Archives and teachers around the world, at for-teachers. National Archives Recognizing Arab American Contributions Celebrating the rich culture and contributions of the diverse population of Arab Americans, National Arab Amer- ican Heritage Month has been observed during the month of April since 2017. Observed in California since 2018, Arab American Heritage Month received federal recognition for the first time in 2021, with President Joe Biden penning a message to commemorate the occasion — the first sitting U.S. president to do so. " The Arab American community exemplifies so much of what our country stands for: hard work, resilience, compas- sion and generosity," Biden wrote. "In nearly every arena of our society, Arab Americans bring dynamic energy, bound- less creativity, and a love of family and neighbors that have always defined who we are as Americans." Last year, Congress, the U.S. Department of State and 45 state governors issued proclamations commemorating the Arab American Heritage Month. For more information, curriculum, and other Arab American Heritage Month resources, visit Resources to help educators celebrate Arab identity, counter negative stereotypes, teach about Arab history and cultures, and ensure an inclu- sive environment that supports Arab American students during this month and throughout the year are available at Arab America Foundation Representation Matters Heritage months in April & May Lifting the Vibrant Jewish American Experience By Julian Peeples 24 Social Justice

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of California Educator - April/May 2023