On May 1, a day marked worldwide by the protests and parades of the labor movement, U.S. President Barack Obama announced the start of a different event – the seventh annual Jewish American Heritage Month. Obama implored all Americans to visit a website dedicated to the history of the Jewish American community (www.JewishHeritageMonth.gov ), “to learn more about the heritage and contributions of Jewish Americans and to observe this month with appropriate programs, activities, and ceremonies.” The White House is expected to hold its own annual reception in its honor.
However, there was one embarrassing moment during the Presidential proclamation, there was a paragraph referring to specific figures in Jewish American history: “From Aaron Copland to Albert Einstein, Gertrude Stein to Justice Louis Brandeis, generations of Jewish Americans have brought to bear some of our country’s greatest achievements and forever enriched our national life.”
Gertrude Stein is an renowned writer and poet, but somewhat controversial figure – before War World II, she told the New York Times Magazine that Adolf Hitler should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, “because he is removing all the elements of contest and of struggle from Germany”.
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