WASHINGTON, DC- In celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month, the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) today kicked off its countdown of 20 trailblazing Jewish Democrats from America’s history. Throughout the history of our country, Jews have played a prominent role in American political life. They have served in elected office, as ambassadors and as key political leaders since the founding of our country.
“There are so many prominent Jewish Democrats currently serving in elected office and as advisors to the President that sometimes it’s easy to overlook the contributions of the trailblazers who came before them,” said David A. Harris, President and CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council. “August Belmont, for instance, was the fourth chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 1860. A staunch supporter of the Union, he was one of the most influential Democrats in the north during the Civil War. It is important to remember his legacy even as Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz becomes the first Jewish woman to lead the Democratic National Committee this week.”
First celebrated in 2006 after a congressional resolution effort led by Representative Wasserman Schultz, even greater spirit has been breathed into Jewish American Heritage Month by President Barack Obama. Obama hosted a first-ever White House celebration of the month in 2010, and honored Jewish American Heritage Month with a presidential proclamation last week.
Each day in May, NJDC will publish a short biography of a trailblazing Jewish Democrat. The biographies can be viewed at www.njdc.org/heritagemonth2011, but real-time updates can be received through NJDC’s Facebook and Twitter pages.