- Ann Arbor Public Schools
- Superintendent's Messages
May 10, 2023 - National Jewish American Heritage Month
May is Jewish American Heritage Month, a time to recognize and honor the history of the rich contributions of Jewish Americans to the development of our nation. Throughout our country’s history, Jewish Americans helped form the fabric of American history, making enormous contributions to America’s culture, arts, science, government, civil rights and much more, despite at times suffering great adversity and discrimination.
This month, we take the opportunity in the AAPS to honor timeless traditions and heritage; Jewish Americans are highlighted in lessons and reading selections with our students across classrooms and in AAPS school and digital libraries. In the arts, students explore, study and perform the works of great Jewish American artists, lyricists, dancers and composers such as Judy Chicago (aka Judith Syliva Cohen), Irving Berlin, Pearl Lang and Leonard Bernstein. Examples of extraordinary individuals of Jewish heritage whose lives have had a positive impact on our society are Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Albert Einstein. Today, Jewish Americans continue to help our nation thrive and prosper and to drive the progress of our country each and every day; these individuals remain our leaders, teachers, neighbors and friends.
It is also important, during this observance of Jewish American Heritage Month, to note that acts of antisemitism continue to rise. In the AAPS, we stand strong against acts of hate toward anyone, and recognize that antisemitism is not just a threat to the Jewish community - accepted hate, in any form, is a vital threat to our American society. You can learn more at standuptojewishhate.org about a national campaign designed to raise awareness about antisemitism and hatred against Jews and the effort to stand up against intolerance of any kind.
We are a stronger school community as we honor, embrace and celebrate our diversity, continually create a culture of belonging for all and value the connections that unite us as an inclusive Ann Arbor community.
Jeanice Kerr Swift