TJMHC Looks Ahead to Jewish American Heritage Month

Instituted in 2006 by President George W. Bush, Jewish American Heritage Month, or JAHM, occurs every May, and aims to create real opportunities for engagement with many Jewish histories, cultures and cultural products, achievements, and of course, people and communities. Though typically organized by the Weitzman National Museum of Jewish History, this is a national undertaking that many Jewish history museums, cultural organizations, community centers, and more take on.

At Tucson Jewish Museum & Holocaust Center (TJMHC), we strive to be a local node for individuals to engage with Tucson & Southern Arizona’s local and regional Jewish histories, respectively. There are many different organizations and programs to attend and participate in here in our local Jewish community, but our space and vision enable us to play a unique role in this special time. TJMHC is located in the original location of Temple Emanuel, the oldest synagogue in the Arizona Territories – older than the state itself! Our work aims to highlight the experiences of Southern Arizona Jews and their struggles, accomplishments, and legacy. We feature oral testimonies, artifacts, documents, and more showcasing the different textures of the Jewish experience here in Tucson and the surrounding region. We also work hard to highlight the legacy of our local Jewish Holocaust survivors and continue to preserve the building of Temple Emanuel on South Stone Avenue to this day.

TJMHC is proud to present programmatic offerings just in time for JAHM this May, as well! We’ll be hosting two different lectures with Rabbi Sandy Seltzer on the struggle(s) over the meaning of the theological concept of “chosenness” in Judaism, first with regard to the Shoah, and then with regard to our “sibling” Abrahamic faiths. We’ll be continuing our tradition of reading banned books with a discussion of Dorit Rabinyan’s novel All the Rivers, which was censored and removed from schools in the Israeli public school system. Rabinyan, an Israeli Jew of Iranian origin, provides us with an opportunity to look at uncomfortable aspects of our Jewish communities, too. Lastly, we’ll be hosting a photographic presentation by Serge J-F. Levy, engaging thematically his experiences as an American Jew in Tucson and in New York, among other things.

Learn more about TJMHC’s upcoming programs at Learn more about JAHM at