May Is a Mitzvah for JAHM

National coordinator, sponsor, partnership give legs to Jewish American Heritage Month

Passover may have garnered all of the recent holiday headlines, but little-known Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM) is hoping doses of star power and schmaltz will help it become this spring’s Jewish community sleeper hit. 

Established by presidential decree in 2006, JAHM celebrates the contributions and achievements of American Jews from the 17th century through today. But unlike the far better-known Black History Month, JAHM’s profile has floundered somewhere between under and off the radar.

Now, armed with a national coordinator, founding sponsorship from Kosher food giant Manischewitz and a partnership with the Bio Channel, JAHM sees 2011 as the year it goes mainstream. “Raising public awareness is a gradual process,” says JAHM national coordinator Abby Schwartz. “We still have a ways to go to establish a truly identifiable JAHM brand.”

Helping Schwartz accomplish that are Bio profiles of prominent American Jews such as Albert Einstein as well as pop-culture faves Adam Sandler, Jon Stewart, and Henry Winkler. L’chaim!

Top 10 Fictional TV Jews

Jerry Seinfeld: Seinfeld

Rhoda Morgenstern (Valerie Harper): The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda

Ross Geller (David Schwimmer): Friends

Juan Epstein (Robert Hegyes): Welcome Back, Kotter

Natalie Green (Mindy Cohn): The Facts of Life

Joel Fleishman (Rob Morrow): Northern Exposure

Hesh Rabkin (Jerry Adler): The Sopranos

Dharma Finkelstein (Jenna Elfman): Dharma & Greg

Grace Adler (Debra Messing): Will & Grace

Mick Belker (Bruce Weitz): Hill Street Blues