By the President of the United States of America
The Jewish people share a rich and vibrant heritage, one that has endured thorugh the ages, even through exile and dark periods of systematic persecution. That great and abiding heritage has had a profound influence on the character of the United States. Thus, it is with great pleasure that millions of Americans join with their Jewish friends and neighbors in celebrating Jewish Heritage Week.
The American of life -- indeed, the development of all Western civilization -- has been shaped, in large part, by the laws and teachings recorded in the Old Testament and Judaic tradition. Our forefathers' declaration of the unalienable rights of individuals was rooted in the biblically supported belief that all people are created equal, in the image of the Almighty. The principles of ethical and moral conduct that form the basis of American civil order and the foundation of any truly free and just society stem from the commandments given by God to Moses. Accordingly, through their efforts to preserve Judaic law and tradition, American Jews help to ensure that our Nation's moral heritage is continually strengthened and renewed. For example, the traditional observance of Shavuot, which recalls the giving of the law on Mount Sinai, offers a powerful reminder of the relationship between respect for the word of God and the preservation of civil peace and liberty.
Through the observance of Shavuot and other special days, Jews affirm both their faith and their identity as a people. As the recent celebration of Passover reminds us, that faith has been tested, and proved, time and again in the history of the Jewish people.
The Jewish people have been subjected to a number of great trials during this century alone. On Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, Jews recall the Nazi atrocities that claimed the lives of 6 million of their fellow Jews, as well as the lives of millions of other men, women, and children in Europe during World War II. By joining in this commemoration, and in remembrance of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, we are reminded of the enduring faith and courage of the Jewish people.
Jews have played a vital role in our country's history since colonial times. Many were active in supporting the Revolutionary War and in the settling of new lands and cities during America's westward expansion. Jewish men, women, and children also formed part of each great wave of immigration to these shores. Today, Jews continue to contribute in virtually every aspect of American life.
As we celebrate the many contributions that Jewish men and women have made to our Nation, we also reaffirm the deep freindship between the United States and Israel. The founding of the modern State of Israel following the Holocaust is further testimony to the faith, determination, and industry of the Jewish people.
The Congress, by House Joint Resolution 134, has designated the week of April 14 through April 21, 1991, and the week of May 3 through May 10, 1992, as "Jewish Heritage Week" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of these occasions.
Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the weeks of April 14, through April 21, 1991, and May 3 through May 10, 1992, As Jewish Heritage Week. I encourage all Americans to join in observing these occasions with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this seventheenth day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fifteenth.