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Obama declares Jewish Heritage Month

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama proclaimed May Jewish Heritage Month.

"The Jewish American story is an essential chapter of the American narrative," Obama said in his proclamation released last Friday. "It is one of refuge from persecution; of commitment to service, faith, democracy, and peace; and of tireless work to achieve success. As leaders in every facet of American life — from athletics, entertainment, and the arts to academia, business, government, and our Armed Forces — Jewish Americans have shaped our Nation and helped steer the course of our history. We are a stronger and more hopeful country because so many Jews from around the world have made America their home."

Jewish Heritage Month resulted from a congressional initiative launched in 2005 by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and has been commemorated since 2006 through educational programs crafted by a number of government agencies, including the Library of Congress, the National Archives and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.