By the President of the United States of America
Our National has been built by men and women from a variety of cultural backgrounds -- people of different races and religions who are united by their love for liberty and opportunity. The character of the United States and our cultural heritage have been enriched immeasureably by this diversity.
Members of the Jewish faith have brought to these shores a rich legacy of law and a profound appreciation for freedom and justice. Our Nation's moral tradition -- indeed, the development of all Western Civilization -- has been deeply influenced by the laws and teachings recorded in the Old Testament and Judaic history. The principles of moral and ethical conduct that form the basis for American civil order and the foundation of any truly free and just society come to us, in large part, from the commandments given by God to Moses.
Over the years, Jewish men and women have come to this country in search of liberty and the change to build a better life for themselves and for their children. Through faith and hard work, they have reaped the rewards of both. Their success -- shared generously through a host of philanthropic activities -- has been a great blessing to all of us. So, too, has been their love for the arts. The Jewish people have produced, and helped to preserve, priceless masterpieces in music, painting, sculpture, and the theater. Equally dedicated to family life and the diligent pursuit of education, they have set a powerful example for all Americans.
The Jewish heritage lends special meaning to the spring season. At this time of year, the observances of Passover, Shavuot, and Holocaust Memorial Day inspire deep reflection and prayer among American Jewry.
Recounting the Exodus and the Insraelites' triumph over bondage, the Passover story provides a poignant reminder that freedom's holy light can never be extinguished because God has given it a home in every human heart. Shavuot, which recalls the giving of the law on Mount Sinai, underscores the relationship between respect for the Word of God and the preservation of public order and happiness. On Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, Jewish Americans remember the Nazi atrocities that claimed the lives of 6 million of their fellow Jews, as well as the lives of millions of other innocent men, women, and children in Europe. By joining in this commemoration, and in remembrance of the Warsaw Chetto uprising, we renew our determination to defend the dignity and worth of every human life and the rights of every individual, regardless of race or creed. On May 10, we also join our Jewish friends and neighbors in marking the 42nd anniversary of the founding of the modern State of Israel, and we share in the celebration of the modern Exodus of Jews from the Soviet Union, many of whom are going to Israel.
During Jewish Heritage Week, let us recognize the significance of these occasions to American Jewry and acknowledge the many contributions that Jewish citizens have made to our Nation. In so doing, we also celebrate the cultural diversity and spirit of tolerance that have long strengthened the United States.
In honor of the members of our Nation's Jewish community, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 241, has designated the week of May 6 through May 13, 1990, as "Jewish Heritage Week" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.
Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week of May 6 through May 13, 1990, as Jewish Heritage Week. I encourage the people of the United States, Federal, State, and local government agencies, and community organizations to observe that week with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this third day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fourteenth.