In politics, as elsewhere, it’s a sport that’s almost as popular as people-watching: Guest-list watching.
And this week, it’s the Jewish community in Washington and beyond that’s buzzing over who’ll be on the list when Barack and Michelle Obama host the first-ever White House reception marking Jewish Heritage Month.
The White House won’t divulge the guest list for Thursday afternoon’s event in the East Room. But it’s clearly an eclectic and interesting one and markedly different from past Jewish-themed events like the president’s annual Hanukkah party.
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz hopes that exhibits and events across the United States next month will demonstrate the significant part Jews have played throughout the last 350 years of America history. In an exclusive interview in her office with reporter Kandie Stroud, Wasserman Schultz, who helped create Jewish American Heritage month, said that education about Jewish contributions to US culture can help to counteract anti-semitism. She also spoke about her own childhood, how her parents encouraged her to be the best student she could be, the discrimination she faced in college, her dreams of a lifetime of service to humanity and her emphasis on the importance of education she teaches her own children.
On April 20, 2006, President George W. Bush proclaimed that May would be Jewish American Heritage Month. The announcement was the crowning achievement in an effort by the Jewish Museum of Florida and South Florida Jewish community leaders that resulted in resolutions introduced by Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida and Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania urging the president to proclaim a month that would recognize the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to American culture. The resolutions passed unanimously. Most recently, President Barack Obama issued aÂ proclamation on May, 12, 2009 in which he stated that “The United States would not be the country we know without the achievements of Jewish Americans.”Â
TheÂ JAHM Coalition was formed in March 2007 and convened by United Jewish Communities (now The Jewish Federations of North America), The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (AJA) and the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS). The JAHM Coalition is composed of the directors of major national Jewish historical and cultural organizations including the AJA, AJHS, Jewish Women’s Archive, the National Museum of American Jewish History, the Council of American Jewish Museums, Jewish Museum of Florida, and the Jewish Historical Society of Washington. Rep. Wasserman Schultz made a statement on the floor of the House of Representatives to recognize the contributions Jewish people have made to American History.
Stay tuned for an exclusive interview with Rep. Wasserman Shultz only on JewishAchievementBlog.com!