Partners Celebrates

​​​​​​​Jewish American Heritage Month is a celebration of American history. In his article, "By Chance or Choice: Jews in New Amsterdam 1654," author Leo Hershkowitz said that in late summer of that year, 23 Jewish refugees walked onto the shores of New Amsterdam (a Dutch settlement established at the southern tip of Manhattan Island) carrying a Torah and the clothes on their backs. This was the beginning of Jewish emigration to America and the start of a long enrichment of American culture and history.

According to the Pew Research Center, “Jewish American” refers to an identity involving any combination and weight of Jewish ancestry, culture, religion, morality and ethics, social practices and spheres, and even a sense of humor among other qualities. Since 2006, we celebrate more than 350 years of American Jewish history during Jewish Heritage Month in May.

Great ways to celebrate such a diverse and multifaceted heritage includes:


The Jewish Book Council, founded in 1943, is devoted exclusively to the support and celebration of Jewish literature. The JBC partners with the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History to offer a reading list that highlights and speaks to the Jewish American experience throughout history.

This year, the reading list includes fiction, nonfiction, and children’s titles. Some of the books touch on multi-culturalism, like "Tia Fortnua’s New Home: A Jewish Cuban Journey" and "Mahjong: A Chinese Game and the Making of Modern American Culture." Many nonfiction titles are historical works, like "American Judaism: A History."

Art & Culture

 Literature, art, and culture are fingers of the same hand.

The Jewish Arts Collaborative was formed in 2015 and seeks to build connections through the unique power of arts and culture. Their goal is to build a vibrant and more tolerant future, and their mission is to curate, celebrate, and build community around the diverse world of Jewish arts, culture, and creative expression. The website boasts a library, events calendar, and both online and in-person opportunities.


One way to connect to Jewish American culture is to watch movies and shows that reflect those values.

"The Jewish Americans," available from the Public Broadcasting System among related documentaries, provides a journey through time. From those first 23 arrivals in 1654 to the present, this three-part series explores the struggle of a minority making their way into the American mainstream while maintaining their own identity.

Minor Jewish characters abound on Disney+. "Gargoyles," "Even Stevens," "Lizzie McGuire," "Phineas and Ferb," "Kim Possible," "Elena of Avalor," and "Kronk’s New Groove" all include explicitly Jewish supporting characters.

Streaming service Hulu offers "Will & Grace," and the character of Grace is written as a Jewish role. Hulu also has dramas like "Mrs. America," a historical drama series about the Equal Rights Amendment, and features the characters of Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, and Bella Abzug; all Jewish.

"Moon Knight" on Disney+ features a Jewish main character, Marc Spector as the prime persona of the superhero. This detail is taken directly from the original comic book series. Check out season one, episode five “Asylum” to learn more.

 Many cultures center food and meals in their society, and Jewish culture is no exception. The Jewish Food Society is a dedicated resource for stories, recipes, and more.

Jewish American cuisine largely draws from the Ashkenazi line of Jewish ancestry. Ashkenazi Jews were removed from their Eastern Mediterranean home of what is now Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria by the Holy Roman Empire around 1000 A.D. and settled in Eastern and Central Europe (the Slavic states, Germany, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria, and Russia).

The Jewish delicatessen is an iconic establishment in American cuisine. Most Jewish delis serve Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine. Common menu items include sandwiches like pastrami on rye and rubens, soups like matzo ball and chicken noodle, and breakfast or brunch items like smoked salmon or whitefish with bagels and cream cheese.

​​​​​​​Jewish cuisine draws from world-wide techniques and ingredients. New-world ingredients like potatoes are used to make latkes (oil-fried potato pancakes or fritters). Tzimmes is a traditional fruit and vegetable stew side-dish made from ingredients easily accessible to low-income European families. 


The American Jewish Committee Oral History Collection from the New York Public Library is a unique and unpublished primary source material for the study of the American Jewish experience in the 20th century. 

“Participants in these extended, ethnically focused interviews run the gamut from feminist pioneer Congresswoman Bella Abzug to Paramount founder Adolph Zukor, last of the original Hollywood movie moguls, recorded in 1972 at the age of 99. The informants, each of them interviewed separately, together make up a cast of considerable diversity: Marv Albert rubs shoulders with Salo Baron, Abe Beame with Henri Bendel, David Ben-Gurion with Jack Benny, Hank Greenberg with Al Jolson, Alfred Kazin with Larry King, Groucho Marx with Jackie Mason, Arthur Miller with Bess Myerson, Roberta Peters with Molly Picon, and Bashevis Singer with Barbra Streisand.” says the website.


Other resources include the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida, and the Holocaust Museum LA. The Pew Research Center states that one of the overall and defining ways that Jewish Americans identify themselves as Jewish is remembering the Holocaust, or Shoah (in Hebrew). ​​​​​​​

Throughout history, Jewish Americans have shaped our world, with the enduring legacy of individuals like Albert Einstein, Gloria Steinem, Stephen Sondheim, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg. By listening and learning, we can develop an understanding of our own culture and gain an appreciation of how Jewish Americans have impacted art, history, and politics around the world.

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Partners Celebrates AAPI

This month, we celebrate the history, contributions, and accomplishments of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in America, whose achievements are instrumental to our future success. 

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Learn with Partners this Financial Literacy Month

Every April, National Financial Literacy Month is a time to celebrate, review and challenge ourselves to take action on reaching our financial goals. Learning and practicing different financial components like budgeting, debt management, and credit can help you reach your financial goals.

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Partners Celebrates Black History Month

We're excited in celebrating Black History Month! We’re committed to understanding history and life experiences to better appreciate the impact of current events on our daily lives. Here are some ways you can learn and celebrate in your community.