As antisemitism is becoming increasingly prevalent in the United States, the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) has launched an initiative to invite mayors across the country to mark Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM) in May to raise awareness on the phenomenon as well as on the contribution that the Jewish community has offered to the nation since the first Jews reached America in the 17th century.
“Jewish residents of our respective cities deserve to feel safe in their homes, neighborhoods and communities,” Richmond, Virginia Mayor Levar Stoney recently wrote in a letter to the U.S. Conference of Mayors to persuade his colleagues to join the initiative. “The resurgence of this ancient hatred is a threat not just to Jewish people, but to all who value human dignity, inclusion and compassion.”
“Formally recognizing Jewish American Heritage Month sends a clear statement of thanks and support to the Jewish community for its many contributions to American culture, and also affirms our commitment to stand with Jewish Americans in opposition to antisemitism and hate in all its forms,” he added.
CAM is a global coalition engaging more than 600 partner organizations and nearly two million people from a diverse array of religious, political, and cultural backgrounds. Among member organizations are the Congress of Christian Leaders and the American Pastors Network.
Jewish American Heritage Month was first proclaimed by President George W. Bush in 2006.
Over 50 mayors have already announced they will join Stoney in celebrating JAHM in May.
“We appreciate efforts of municipal leaders to condemn and help root out antisemitic activity in their communities as hate crimes and hate speech continue to rise,” said CAM Director of North American Affairs, Rebecca Rose. “However, we also want to be able to celebrate and acknowledge the importance of Jewish American heritage, which dates back to 1654, and the contributions of Jewish Americans to the history and aspirations of our country.”