By The Editor in Chief
JEWISH AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH
The month of May has been proclaimed Jewish American Heritage Month! Announced in 2006 by President George W. Bush distinguishing the 350th anniversary of the Jews arriving in the United States. In this month we celebrate and recognize the achievements of American Jews and their contributions to the United States of America. Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM) facilitates theological and cultural diversity supporting American civic culture. A most deserving celebration that recognizes their history, culture, and society.
Passover and Perseverance
This month gives Americans a chance to gain understanding into the lives of the Jews and the significance of their perseverance. The liberation of the Jews, historically; people who endured years of hardship, hostility, and even near-extinction contributed towards their motivation to persevere. Their struggle for freedom, morality, and truth led them to achievement woven into the fabric of American history and culture.
Beginning with the Passover Seder in late March or early April, the story is retold as a tradition of celebration in observance of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. Family, friends, and community gather to read ancient scripts with cantillation and chorus. A great focus is placed on children as this assembly embraces the central symbolization of the Seder ritual. This ritual feast includes symbolic foods and wine, telling the story, and celebrating their freedom.
In recognition of their great achievements towards shaping our nation’s history is a woman I hold deep respect and admiration – Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first Jewish woman to serve on the U.S Supreme Court. An advocate supporting civil liberties, she was the first woman to make both the Harvard and Columbia law reviews. A professor of law at Rutgers law school, she was also co-founder of the Women’s Rights Law Reporter and director of the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Ginsburg was an American lawyer and jurist. She served on the Supreme Court from 1993 until her death in September 2020. It was her struggle to gain recognition for her achievements as a woman in a man’s world, that gave her that much more determination to succeed in the direction she took. From difficulty finding employment at the start of her legal career, she faced rejection, less pay, and lower positions due to her gender in spite of her qualifications. Strategically, she persevered and became a pioneer for gender equality, not just equal rights for women, but also for men.
Being the first Jewish justice, she brought diversity to the court and was rated by The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary as “well qualified”, for a prospective justice it was their highest possible rating. During her tenure, she advocated and was recognized for Gender discrimination, Abortion rights, Search and seizure, International law, Voting rights and affirmative action, Native Americans, and Other notable majority opinions. Ginsburg was an American cultural icon, the second female and the first Jewish female justice of the Supreme Court. She eventually became the longest-serving Jewish justice.