Concurrent Resolution Recognizing the 350th Anniversary of American Jewish History - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Concurrent Resolution Recognizing the 350th Anniversary of American Jewish History

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Monday, November 3, 2003

Passed by United States Congress

Ohio Congressional Members introduced historic legislation

CINCINNATI, OH:---To celebrate and honor the September 2004-September 2005 commemoration of the 350th anniversary of American Jewish history, U.S. Senators George V. Voinovich (R-OH) and Mike DeWine (R-OH) along with U.S. Congressmen Steve Chabot (R-1st-OH) and Rob Portman (R-2nd-OH) sponsored a Congressional resolution to formally recognize the milestone anniversary. House Concurrent Resolution 106 was passed by Congress on October 15, 2003.

The Resolution acknowledges the 350th anniversary of American Jewish History; recognizes The Commission for Commemorating 350 Years of American Jewish History; supports the designation of an American Jewish History Month; and urges all Americans to share in this commemoration.

The Commission for Commemorating 350 Years of American Jewish History

The Commission for Commemorating 350 Years of American Jewish History was established to develop historical commemorative events and programs that will be presented throughout the nation during the anniversary year. Distinguished partners of the Commission for Commemorating 350 Years of American Jewish History include the

Library of Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration, the American Jewish Historical Society and The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives.

The 2004-2005 celebration will mark the first time that the Jewish community has marked this event in partnership with the Library of Congress and the National Archives-two preeminent research institutions of the American people. The Commission -which is planning several national projects to illuminate prominent themes in American Jewish history-will produce an exhibit to open in September, 2004 at the Library of Congress. The core of the exhibit is then scheduled to travel to three additional American cities through 2005-Cincinnati, New York and Los Angeles. The exhibit will feature some of the most compelling documents and artifacts from the four Commission partner institutions spanning 350 years of American Jewish history. Additionally, the Commission has launched an online exhibit featuring many rare documents vital to telling the story of America's Jewish community. (

House Concurrent Resolution 106 
The Resolution was introduced at the request of Dr. Gary P. Zola, Commission Chair and Executive Director of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives-located on the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. (The American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati and the American Jewish Historical Society in New York are the only two research institutions in the world dedicated exclusively to the preservation of archival materials relating to the entire scope of American Jewish history.)

Speaking in support of the Resolution on October 15, 2003 from the floor of the House of Representatives, Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Calif) said that "Jewish immigration to America throughout the last 350 years brought with it legions of notable researchers, lawyers, statesmen, inventors, artists, authors, musicians, doctors, entrepreneurs, spiritual leaders, and Members of Congress. This resolution honors the life, culture, and contributions of the 6.5 million Jews who live in America and those who came before them."

Mr. Chabot, also speaking in support of the Resolution, commented that "House Concurrent Resolution 106 recognizes the many contributions of the American Jewish community to this great Nation's civic, social, economic, and cultural life. The Resolution also notes that American Jews have fought valiantly for the United States in every one of our Nation's military struggles, from the American Revolution to Operation Enduring Freedom."

"I, of course, have seen firsthand in my hometown of Cincinnati the strong and powerful positive influence of the Jewish community and Cincinnati also happens to be home to a number of our country's most important Jewish institutions," noted Mr. Portman from the House floor. "These include the American Jewish Archives, which has dedicated itself to assembling an extensive collection of documents to chronicle American Jewish history, and the Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion, established in 1875, a pillar to the American Reform Jewish movement."

"The Jewish community has deep roots in Ohio and this Resolution celebrates these roots as we approach the 350th anniversary of Jewish presence in America," Senator Voinovich said.

"I'm excited to be a part of this resolution," added Senator DeWine. "There is a rich history behind the Jewish culture -- one that has been a large part of the United States and helped us become the nation we are today."

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates leaders to serve North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.