May is Jewish American Heritage Month The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Jewish Americans who helped form the fabric of American history, culture and society.

Event Highlights 2023

Virtual Event

Tuesday, May 10

When Rabbis Bless Congress: The Great American Story of Jewish Prayers on Capitol Hill
Howard Mortman's When Rabbis Bless Congress is an unprecedented examination of 160 years of Jewish prayers delivered in the literal and figurative center of American democracy. With exhaustive research written in approachable prose, it tells the story of more than 400 rabbis giving over 600 prayers since the Civil War days. The book is an important addition to our understanding of Congress and Jewish contribution to America. Joining Mortman in conversation will be Brian Lamb, founder and former CEO of C-SPAN.

Special Event

May 11

Live at the Library!—Writers, Radicals, and Rugelach: Yiddish Culture
This illustrated lecture journeys into the world and flavors of East European Jewish culture, as it was recreated in America. Starting in late-nineteenth century Europe, we accompany thousands of Yiddish speakers on their dramatic trip across the sea to the United States. The Live at the Library series invites visitors to enjoy the Library and its collections in new formats. It regularly features special conversations, music, performances, films and workshops that showcase the broad range of holdings at the national library. (Library of Congress)

Documentary Film & Discussion

May 16

Film Screening: "Jews of the Wild West"
This is the story of how Jewish Americans helped to shape the West. The documentary incorporates interviews, historic photographs, and archival materials from LC’s collections. The documentarian will be available on zoom to answer questions after the hour and twenty-minute screening. (Library of Congress)

Online Event

May 18

Jewish Soldiers in the Civil War: The Union Army
What was it like to be Jewish in Lincoln’s armies? The Union army was as diverse as the embattled nation it sought to preserve, comprising a unique mixture of ethnicities, religions, and identities. Adam D. Mendelsohn draws for the first time upon the vast database of verified listings of Jewish soldiers serving in the Civil War as well as letters, diaries, and newspapers to examine the collective experience of Jewish soldiers. (National Archives)

Brought to you by:

National Gallery of Art Library of Congress National Archives United States Holocaust Memorial Museum National Park Service National Endowment for the Humanities