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Jewish American Heritage Month

MAEC is devoted to serving educators and education professionals and we encourage educators and students to take time to expand their knowledge and awareness of the experiences and histories of Jewish Americans in the United States. There are many free resources available to get started, some of which are listed below. There is a section specifically dedicated to resources for children at the bottom of the list in our “Kids’ Corner”!

 

Articles 

  1. 5 Female Jewish Scientists You Should Have Learned About in School (HeyAlma) 
  2. 14 Ways to Celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month (Reform Judaism.org) 
  3. The American Jewish Experience in the Twentieth Century: Antisemitism and Assimilation (National Humanities Center)
  4. Five Women Artists Whose Work Brings Us Closer to the Holocaust (Jewish Women’s Archive)
  5. Jewish American Heritage Month (EDSITEment) 
  6. Jewish-American Heritage Month (Library of Congress) 
  7.  A Proclamation on Jewish American Heritage Month, 2022 (The White House) 

 

Books 

  1. The Complete Maus: A Survivor’s Tale, by Art Spiegelman 
  2. Everything Is Illuminated, by Jonathan Safran Foer 
  3. Night, by Elie Wiesel 
  4. The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant 
  5. Scattered Among the Nations, by Bryan Schwartz, with Sandy Carter and Jay Sand 
  6. The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, by Michael Chabon 

 

Lesson Plans  

  1. Challenging Antisemitism: Debunking the Myths and Responding with Facts [K-12] (ADL) 
  2. Coming of Age During the Holocaust (Museum of Jewish Heritage Holocaust Curriculum) 
  3. Emma Lazarus [9-12] (PJ Library) 
  4. The Jewish Americans (PBS) 
  5. The People v. Leo Frank: Teachers Guide (ADL) 

 

People to follow on social media   

  1. Anti-Defamation League – @adl (Twitter), @Anti-DefamationLeague (Facebook, LinkedIn), @adl_national (Instagram)
  2. April N. Baskin – @joyous.justice (Instagram)  
  3. Avrohom Rapoport – @rabbiraps (Instagram, Tik-Tok)  
  4. Rabbi Sandra Lawson – @RabbiSandra (Twitter, Instagram) 
  5. My Jewish Learning – @myjewishlearningcom (Instagram) 

 

Webinars & Videos 

  1. America’s Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today (U.S. National Archives) 
  2. Bringing the Past to Life: Oral History Project of American Jewish Music (Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience) 
  3. Inclusion and Pride: Intersecting Jewish and LGBTQ Advocacy Webinar (Matan) 
  4. Lunar – The Jewish-Asian Film Project (Lunar) 
  5. Not “Us Versus Them”: Black Jews, the Black Lives Matter Movement, and the Fight for Equity (Jews of Color Initiative) 
  6. Rest and Rejuvenation: The Importance of Sabbaticals in the Jewish Nonprofit Sector (Jewish Funders Network) 
  7. The Unknown History of Black Jews in America (Unpacked) 

 

Podcasts 

  1. Anatomy of Israel 
    • Anat Hoffman, head of the Israel Religious Action Center, created this podcast to talk about all things Israel, including its history, culture, religious DNA, politics, and more – both the beautiful and the ugly, the profanities and the poetry.  
  2. Jewish History Matters 
    • Jewish History Matters is a podcast featuring interviews, in-depth discussion, coverage of new research, current topics, and enduring debates about Jewish history and culture. It aims to cultivate informed and engaging discourse about the Jewish past, present, and future rooted in cutting-edge developments from leading Jewish studies scholars.
  3. Kuumba Hineni: A Podcast On Intersectionality More Than Just Skin Deep 
    • Enzi Tanner, a Black trans Jewish community organizer in Minneapolis, hosts the show that dives into the intersectional lives many in the Jewish community lead, and how those intersections come together and inform. The title is a combination of the Swahili word Kuumba, which means “to create,” and the Hebrew word Hineni, which literally means “I am here,” but often is used to denote presence.  
  4. Podcasts and Audio (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum) 
    • Listen to stories from Holocaust history, interviews with experts, and first-hand oral histories from Holocaust survivors.  
  5. Unorthodox 
    • Unorthodox is a smart, fresh, fun weekly take on Jewish news and culture. 
  6. Wholly Jewish 
    • What do we all have in common? We all live – and balance – complex and nuanced identities, that, when braided together, make us wholly ourselves – and “Wholly Jewish.” Join April Baskin, the Union for Reform Judaism’s former vice president for audacious hospitality, as she speaks with Jews of Color who share their experiences, insights, and how their identities enrich and create a more vibrant Jewish community. 

 

Pop culture that is inclusive of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders 

Movies and TV shows can provide a window into the lives and cultures of the characters depicted in ways that can both dismantle and reinforce cultural stereotypes. When consuming movies and TVs shows that depict characters and cultures different from your own, be careful not to allow the dramatization to nurture harmful stereotypes. No cultural dramatization can fully represent the spectrum of human qualities, characteristics and cultures of any particular group of people. 

Movies & Documentaries  

  1. Fiddler on the Roof [G] (1971) 
    • In pre-revolutionary Russia, a Jewish peasant with traditional values contends with marrying off three of his daughters with modern romantic ideals while growing anti-Semitic sentiment threatens his village.  
  2. Funny Girl [G] (1968) 
    • The life of Fanny Brice, famed comedienne and entertainer of the early 1900s. We see her rise to fame as a Ziegfeld girl, subsequent career, and her personal life, particularly her relationship with Nick Arnstein. 
  3. Hester Street [PG] (1975) 
    • In 1896, a Russian Jewish woman immigrates to New York’s Lower East Side to reunite with her Americanized husband, but has difficulty assimilating.  
  4. The Meyerowitz Stories [TV-MA] (2017) 
    • An estranged family gathers together in New York City for an event celebrating the artistic work of their father. 
  5. RBG [PG] (2018) 
    • By turns heartfelt and playful, this documentary details Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life and landmark work on women’s rights.  
  6. Yentl [PG] (1983) 
    • Eastern Europe, 1904. A Jewish woman, Yentl, has a thirst for knowledge but is prohibited from learning due to the restrictions of her religion. When her father dies, she sets off to increase her knowledge, posing as a man in order to gain admission to a Jewish religious school. 

TV Shows 

  1. Broad City [PG-14] (2014) 
    • A bottle of wine tastes just as good when you pay with all pennies. That’s a fact. And no matter what the city throws at twenty-somethings Abbi and Ilana, these broads are all in. Catch the totally fresh, new series based on the acclaimed digital shorts.  
  2. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017-present) 
    • After her husband leaves her, young mother of two Miriam “Midge” Maisel discovers that she has a talent for stand-up comedy. Could this be her calling? 
  3. The Nanny (1993-1999) 
    • After being fired from her job and dumped by her boyfriend, a Jewish cosmetics saleswoman becomes the nanny to the three children of a rich English widower.  
  4. Seinfeld [PG] (1989) 
    • The “show about nothing” is a sitcom landmark, with comic Jerry and his three sardonic friends finding laughs in both the mundane and the ridiculous.  
  5. Shtisel (2013-2021) 
    • The life of the Shtisel family, a Haredi family in Jerusalem. 
  6. Unorthodox (2020) 
    • The series follows a young woman brought up in an ultra-Orthodox community in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg district who strikes out for Berlin, leaving behind an arranged marriage and tight-knit faith community in part to pursue her goal of discovering her path. 

 

Kids’ Corner 

Books 

Movies 

  • Full-Court Miracle (2003) 
    • An African American college basketball star becomes the head coach of a Yeshiva’s struggling basketball team in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after a knee injury forces him to leave the game. Based on the true story of Lamont Carr.  
  • The Prince of Egypt (1998)
    • Egyptian Prince Moses learns of his identity as a Hebrew and his destiny to become the chosen deliverer of his people. 
  • When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit [7+] (2021) 
    • A Jewish family had to flee from the Nazis from Berlin. First, they flee to Zurich. From there it goes to Paris and finally to London. 

TV Shows 

  • Elena of Avalor (2016-2020) 
    • S3E17: Festival of Lights suggested  
    • A royal family from the Latino Jewish kingdom of Galonia is shipwrecked off the coast of Avalor on their way home to celebrate Hanukkah, so Elena invites them to the palace to celebrate their cherished holiday and learn about their traditions. 
  • The Goldbergs [PG] (2013) 
    • The Goldbergs are a loving family like any other, just with a lot more yelling, but for geeky 11-year old Adam these were his wonder years and he faced them armed with a video camera to capture all the crazy. 
  • Shaboom! (2016-present) 
    • When magical “sparks” Gabi and Rafael discover the hapless Plony family doing something silly, they slide down the rainbow to help using their magic word: Shaboom. Silly songs, fun characters, new Hebrew words and great ideas for the whole family. 
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