sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

May 23, 2011

It’s Jewish American Heritage Month, Look Who We Are Not Celebrating.

Filed under: politics, society — Tags: , — edge of the sandbox @ 8:43 pm

In a previous post, I mentioned that May is Jewish American Heritage Month:

Not that American Jews need a heritage month.  Every day is a Jewish American heritage day, because not a day goes by without hearing about our achievements in science, literature, arts, economics [...]

I wrote it and said to myself: “Hmmm…  Jewish American Heritage Month…”  So I did a little research to confirm my suspicion.  On the Library of Congress website for the Month, the following individuals were highlighted: a very excellent artist and illustrator Arthur Szyk, Hannah Ardent, Aaron Copland, Abraham Schwadron, Lawrence Marwick, Emile Berliner, Felix Mendelson (really?  He’s not an American), Leonard Bernstein, Florence Kahn, Albert Einstein, Betty Friedan, Jack Benny, Ed Koch, Paul Simon, Golda Meyer (who gave up her citizenship) and Holocaust survivors.  The Heritage Month official website had it’s own entertainer-heavy list:Albert Einstein, Emma Lazarus, Levi Strauss, Sandy Kaufax, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Estee Lauder, Isaac Mayer Wise, Edna Ferber, Louis B. Marshall, Louis Brandeis, Betty Friedan, Barbra Streisand, Molly Picon, Uriah Levy, Jonas Salk, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Joachim Prinz, the Florence Prag Kahn, Manischewitz Family (don’t laugh), Ida Cohen Rosenthal, Ruth Mosko Handler, Ann Landers, Garrett E. Reisman and Sophie Tucker.

And so I confirmed that one person not featured was Milton Friedman.  I find it a bit peculiar considering that there is so much grassroots interest in his ideas at this moment, and no other Jewish American economist is highlighted.  Organizers made space for a  congressional widow from over a century ago, a washed-up pop star and several fashion designers.  When I look at the list of people featured on the websites, I get a feeling that the curators are trying to either “discover” an important but overlooked Jew and failing or don’t know many Jews who accomplished a great deal.  If there was a resurgence of popular interest in a liberal thinker, and an opportunity would come up to celebrate his achievement, would that person be celebrated?  Would an occasion like a heritage month be used to solidify his legacy?

Milton Friedman: Looks pretty Jewish to me.

Jewish American Heritage Month is the brainchild of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz and disgraced former Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter, both liberals.

…If I’m not making any sense, it’s because I had a glass of Chilean wine (Santa Carolina sauv blanc) in honor of Chilean miracle.

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