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WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in recognition of Jewish American Heritage Month, which is being celebrated throughout the month of May. This is the first time a month has been designated as Jewish American Heritage Month.
"Nearly 352 years ago, the first Jewish Americans arrived in this nation in search of a better life. Since then, they have become a vital part of our society, enriching both our culture and our history. Throughout the month of May, we celebrate Jewish Americans and their legacy by recognizing Jewish American Heritage Month.
"The Jewish community has shaped and strengthened American society, and we honor the role they have played in American history. The contributions of Jewish Americans are numerous and wide-ranging - from education, to art, to public service, to business. These are only a few of the fields that have been expanded and improved by their hard work.
"Judaism is an ancient religion rich in tradition that goes back more than 4,000 years, and all Americans benefit from the unique history and culture that Jewish Americans bring to our nation.
"I have had the privilege of leading several trips to Israel, most recently last summer, and continue to be impressed by the deep commitment to democracy displayed by Israelis. Today, we welcome Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to Washington, and reiterate the friendship and unwavering alliance between our two nations."