May 1, 1981
By the President of the United States of America
The vitality of the United States derives in great measure from the richness of our cultural heritage. The values and ideals brought to these shores by people of many races and religions are woven deeply into the fabric of America.
American Jews have contributed significantly to the spiritual and cultural elevation of our society since the founding of our Nation. Jewish immigrants and their descendants have brought dignity and distinction to every field of American endeavor. Our Jewish citizens have served America by fighting for her freedom, building her industry, striving for her goals, and nurturing her dreams.
Yet, Jewish heritage reaches far and deeply into the dawn of history, when America was but a wilderness. The Jewish people still firmly carry these ancient and revered traditions, which have been harshly tested over the centuries.
In the spring of each year, through special celebrations and observances, American Jewry remembers its past and renews its dedication to the challenges that remain. Beginning with the observance of Passover, recalling the passage from bondage to freedom, through the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the Days of Remembrance honoring the victims and survivors of the Holocaust, Jews all over the world pay tribute to their past. In the celebration of Israeli Independence Day, Jerusalem Day, and Solidarity Day for Soviet Jews, Jewish people reflect upon their common heritage.
In recognition of the special significance of this time of year to American Jewry, in homage to the significant contributions made by the Jewish community to the United States, and to foster appreciation of the cultural diversity of the American people, the Congress of the United States, by joint resolution, has requested the President to proclaim May 3 through May 10, 1981, as Jewish Heritage Week.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning May 3, 1981, as Jewish Heritage Week.
I call upon the people of the United States, Federal and local government officials, and interested organizations to observe that week with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and reflection.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fifth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4:46 p.m., May 1, 1981]
Note: The text of the proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on May 2.