On Display: Jewish American Heritage Month

Welcome to our digital exhibit celebrating Jewish American Heritage Month. This page is a companion to the physical display in the HKS Library, available through May 2024. Harvard affiliates can request books via HOLLIS, for pick-up at the library of your choice.

The books in this display feature literary nonfiction and novels about Jewish American identities and experiences, as well as books on Jewish American history, politics, and activism. They're drawn from recommendations from the HKS Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (ODIB), the University of Virginia Library, and the Jewish Book Council.

More on Jewish American Heritage Month from ODIB:

"Jewish American Heritage Month was founded in 1980 when Congress passed Pub. L. No. 96-237, which authorized and requested the president to issue a proclamation designating April 21 - 28, 1980 as Jewish Heritage Week. On April 24, 1980, President Carter issued this first proclamation, Proclamation No. 4752 External, for Jewish Heritage Week. In this proclamation President Carter spoke about the bountiful contributions made by the Jewish people to the culture and history of the United States. Then on February 14, 2006, Congress issued H.R. Con. Res. 315 which stated: “Resolved . . . that Congress urges the President to issue each year a proclamation calling on State and local governments and the people of the United States to observe an American Jewish History Month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities." Pursuant to this resolution, on April 20, 2006, President Bush issued the first proclamation designating May 2006 as Jewish American Heritage Month. Since 2007 Presidents George W. Bush, Obama, Trump, and Biden have issued proclamations for Jewish American Heritage Month (Library of Congress)."

Harvard Library Research Guides

Featured Resource: Harvard Divinity School Library

Swartz Hall entrance to Harvard Divinity School Library.Harvard Divinity School Library "is the primary portal to the vast resources for the study of religion available to researchers at Harvard."

The HDS Library in open to the public. Explore their collections and research resources online. Many of the related guides listed at the bottom of this page were created by HDS librarians.

Swartz Hall photo by Justin Knight.

Databases for Research on Judaism

Initiatives at Harvard

  • Center for Jewish Studies at Harvard University: "Serves as an umbrella organization, encompassing and coordinating the many academic and extracurricular programs in Jewish Studies at Harvard University."
  • Presidential Task Force on Combating Antisemitism: Since January 2024, the Task Force has been "examin[ing] the recent history of antisemitism and its current manifestations on the Harvard campus."
  • The Harvard Judaica Collection: Harvard Library collection that "document the life and culture of the Jewish people throughout history - in all places, all languages, and all formats - with particular comprehensive coverage of life and culture in the State of Israel."
  • HKS Israel Caucus: The Israel Caucus brings together students from or interested in Israel to discuss a wide range of topics related to the country and to celebrate Israeli culture and traditions.
  • HKS Jewish Caucus: The Jewish Caucus aims to build an active Jewish community on the HKS campus and to connect students to events, resources, and other community members that are active in the greater Jewish community at Harvard.
  • Harvard Hillel: Harvard Hillel is a Jewish home-away-from-home that invites Harvard students to experience a variety of Jewish identity, practice, culture, and community.
  • Harvard Jewish Chaplains: Jewish Chaplains supporting Harvard ​staff, students, post-doctoral researchers, and faculty.

Display Books

Click on the circular "i" icons to view book descriptions. Click on the Harvard shield icons to access ebooks (Harvard Key required).