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JOINING FORCES

Lawmakers introduce first-ever bipartisan and bicameral resolution honoring Jewish American Heritage Month

The resolution honors ‘the rich history of Jewish people in the United States’ and highlights rising antisemitism across the country

Combat Antisemitism Movement

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) speaks at the Jewish American Heritage Month congressional breakfast hosted by the Combat Antisemitism Movement

Senate and House members announced on Tuesday that they are introducing resolutions honoring the accomplishments of Jewish Americans and calling out antisemitism in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month, which is observed each May.

According to a statement from the sponsors, the resolution is the first time such legislation has been introduced in a bicameral and bipartisan fashion. It is being sponsored by Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Tim Scott (R-SC), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Rick Scott (R-FL), House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and David Kustoff (R-TN). 

The resolution honors the “the rich history of Jewish people in the United States and the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to society in the United States” and recounts the growth and accomplishments of the Jewish community in the United States since 1654, such as Jews who have won Nobel Prizes and served on the Supreme Court.

“As the strength of a society can be measured by how that society protects its minority populations and celebrates their contributions, it is altogether fitting for the United States to once again mark the month of May as Jewish American Heritage Month,” the resolution states.

The legislation also highlights the recent surge in antisemitism, citing rising rates of antisemitic incidents and hate crimes, along with polling showing that Jews see themselves as increasingly under threat. The bill also cites a rising lack of awareness about the Holocaust.

“The most effective ways to counter the increase in antisemitic actions are through education, awareness, and the uplifting of Jewish voices, while highlighting the contributions that Jewish Americans have made to the United States,” the legislation asserts.

The legislation states that Jewish American Heritage Month is “a time to celebrate the contributions of Jewish American to the society and culture of the United States,” “recognizes that Jewish American culture and heritage strengthen and enrich the diversity of the United States” and “calls on elected officials, faith leaders, and civil society leaders to condemn and combat anty and all acts of antisemitism.”

Tim Scott, a Senate co-sponsor of the resolution, is expected to announce a 2024 presidential run in the coming weeks and launched an exploratory committee last month.

“Jewish Americans are a vibrant part of our nation’s history, and their extraordinary accomplishments have pushed America forward as a beacon of hope, faith, and freedom,” he said in a statement. “I am proud to stand with the Jewish community, especially as despicable, antisemitic hate is on the rise. We must reaffirm our commitment to not only calling out this hate, but crushing it wherever it rears its ugly head.”

In a statement, Jeffries highlighted both the contributions of Jewish Americans to the United States as well as the ongoing struggle against a “despicable rise in antisemitism.”

“The story of America cannot be told without recognizing the contributions our Jewish brothers and sisters have made to enrich our history, values and culture, as well as their struggle for freedom and justice,” Jeffries said. “Jewish American Heritage Month provides us the opportunity to recognize the impact Jewish Americans have made throughout generations. This resolution will also help ensure that communities across the United States come together and aggressively push back against antisemitism whenever and wherever it is found.”

The resolution is also being supported by the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee.

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