Above Image: Excerpt from Sara Berman’s Closet. HarperCollins, 2018.
History of JAHM
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 history of Jewish contributions to American culture. The resolutions passed unanimously, first in the House of Representatives in December 2005 and later in the Senate in February 2006.
Since 2006, JAHM programs have taken place across the country. In Washington, D.C. alone, the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum have joined in raising national consciousness about the contributions of Jewish Americans to our country's heritage.
The 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 was 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, D.C. In the fall of 2010 JAHM incorporated as a tax exempt public charity with a Board of Directors and oversight by the JAHM Advisory Committee.
In 2018, the National Museum of American Jewish History became the home of JAHM. Located on historic Independence Mall in Philadelphia, PA, NMAJH is the country’s only institution dedicated to telling the story of American history through the lens of the Jewish experience. Its mission to present educational programs and experiences that preserve, explore, and celebrate the more than 360-year history of Jews in America serves JAHM’s broader mission to promote education about the American Jewish community's contributions to the history, heritage, and culture of the United States.
NMAJH and JAHM work to connect Jews more closely to their heritage and inspires in people of all backgrounds a greater appreciation for the diversity of the American Jewish experience and the freedoms to which all Americans aspire.
In the News
Board of Directors
Greg Rosenbaum, President of Palisades Associates, Inc.
Marcia Jo Zerivitz, LHD, Founding Executive Director, Jewish Museum of Florida-Florida International University
Dr. Gary P. Zola, Executive Director, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives
Ivy L. Barsky, Chief Executive Officer and Gwen Goodman Director, National Museum of American Jewish History
Kara Blond, Executive Director, Capital Jewish Museum
Shelley Rood, Senior Legislative Associate and AJFCA Washington Director at The Jewish Federations of North America
Judith Rosenbaum, Ph.D, Executive Director, Jewish Women's Archive
Abby S. Schwartz, Director, Skirball Museum in Cincinnati
Mel Wacks, Director of the Jewish-American Hall of Fame Division of the American Jewish Historical Society
Melissa Martens Yaverbaum, Executive Director at the Council of American Jewish Museums
Senator Arlen Specter, z”l
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Founding Corporate Sponsor
Top Image: Excerpt from Sara Berman’s Closet. Harper Collins, 2018.