By the President of the United States of America
American Jews have made immeasurable contributions to our country's economic, political, social, and cultural development. The remarkable and varied achievements of American Jews have greatly enriched the lives of all Americans, from medicine and mathematics to movies and the musical theater.
It is appropriate at this time of year that we remind ourselves of the tragedy and glory of Jewish history. The Jewish people have recently celebrated Passover, the holiday that commemorates their deliverance by God from the bondage of Egypt to freedom in the Holy Land. Last week marked the observance of Yom Hashoa, the Day of Remembrance, and this week, Israeli Independence Day is celebrated. These events remind us that Israel was reborn out of ashes of the Holocaust. These commemorations sustain our hope that someday the persecuted Jews of the Soviet Union will be delivered from bondage.
At this time of year, it is appropriate for all Americans to acknowledge how much our country has benefited from the contributions of American Jews. We should be proud that Jews in America have always been free to practice their religion and preserve their traditions. And the Jewish people have responded with an ardent patriotism once so eloquently expressed by one of America's foremost rabbis:
"God built Him a continent of glory and filled it with treasures untold... Then He called unto a thousand peoples, and summoned the bravest among them.... And out of the bounty of earth and the labor of men, out of the longing of hearts and the prayers of souls, out of the memory of ages and the hopes of the world, God fashioned a nation in love, blessed it with a purpose sublime, and called it—America!" Silver, "America," 1917.
The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 275, has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation designating the week of May 11, 1986, through May 17, 1986, as "Jewish Heritage Week."
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week of May 11, 1986, through May 17, 1986, as Jewish Heritage Week. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate programs and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of May, in the year of Our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and tenth.