Jewish American Heritage Month
In 2006, President George W. Bush established Jewish American Heritage Month by Presidential Proclamation to honor the achievements of Jewish Americans and their contributions to our nation’s history, culture, and society. Every year since then, we’ve celebrated Jewish American Heritage Month in May.
The latest report by the American Jewish Population Project states that “Los Angeles County has the largest Jewish population of any single US county: 530,000 – 7% of all Jews in the United States.” Jews have been in the area since it was a Mexican outpost in the 1800s. Jacob Frankfurt was the first documented Jewish immigrant to arrive to the Puebla de Los Angeles from the East Coast in 1841. His journey from Europe to New York to California would be repeated in later years by thousands of Jews.
LA County Library is committed to serving the Jewish community and experience with a Judaica Collection, Hebrew, and Yiddish language books at our Culver City Julian Dixon Library. Agoura Hills Library houses a Holocaust Collection and Hebrew books for children and adults. We also have local Jewish history materials in the Californiana collection. For more Jewish local history, check out the Mapping Jewish Los Angeles project developed by UCLA Library and local community archives.
For more information about Jewish American Heritage Month, please visit the Library of Congress.
Jewish Stories & Experiences
Explore our collection of films, eBooks, and audiobooks on the Jewish Experience, available via Kanopy and Hoopla.
On a summer day in 1945, an Orthodox man and his grown son return to a village in Hungary while the villagers prepare for the wedding of the town clerk’s son. The townspeople – suspicious, remorseful, fearful, and cunning – expect the worst and behave accordingly. The town clerk fears the men may be heirs of the village’s deported Jews and expects them to demand their illegally acquired property back.
After years away, Ariel returns to Buenos Aires seeking to reconnect with his father Usher, who has founded a charity foundation in Once, the city’s bustling Jewish district where Ariel spent his youth. In the process of trying to meet his father and getting entangled in his charitable commitments, Ariel also reconnects with his own Jewish roots.
Jacob Kaplan lives an ordinary life in Uruguay. Like many of his other Jewish friends, Jacob fled Europe for South America during World War II. But now turning 76, he’s become rather grumpy, fed up with his community and his family’s lack of interest in its own heritage.
People say the way to the heart is through the stomach, so we’d also like to celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month with you by sharing two delicious recipes from Linda Torn and Montebello native, Dr. Lenora M. Noroski. Thank you, Dr. Noroski and Linda! Also thank you, Sherry Uribe, for connecting us with them.