By Leisha Bereson
VP, Group Director, Programmatic
May is Jewish American History Month. This month is a special celebration as declared by President George W. Bush on April 20, 2006, an announcement in achievement in the lobbying effort of the Jewish Museum of Florida and South Florida Jewish Community leaders for a celebration of Jewish Americans and their heritage.
The Jewish Museum of Florida is located in Miami Beach’s first synagogue, established in 1929during a time of change when prior to this date, Jews had been denied permission to construct a synagogue. This museum represents a history of persecution that Jews experienced all over the world and still continue to see even today.
The theme for 2019 is American Jewish Illustrators, those who have created and continue to create children’s books, iconic graphic novels, and syndicated comics and illustrations.Think about the beautiful works of Maurice Sendak, Stan Lee, Ezra Jack Keats, and many more, all of whom have brought their unique perspective and pasts into works that have changed the lives of children forever. Without their voices and their illustrations, we may never have experienced heart ache, love, and friendship as we know it today.
We at ThinkLA offer you the opportunity to celebrate JAHM locally; you can take your own tour of local longstanding Jewish landmarks (who doesn’t want to have a pastrami sandwich at Canters?) or joining the Los Angeles City Council members at their “Being Deborah: A History of Jewish Women Creating Change in LA” event on May 29 at City Hall.
Often times, we reflect on Jews as a result of observing a holiday, but we must remember that Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and part of a nation, originating from the Israelites and Hebrew; but there is so much more to this history and its people that have made our lives better. Take the time to celebrate the Jewish Heritage locally by learning more about Jewish Achievements and how they have changed the city we live in. In fact, L.A. has the second largest Jewish population in the US!