by Mary Beth Newbill, Southern History Department, Central Library
May is Jewish American Heritage Month and the Library of Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and several other government agencies are joining together to honor and celebrate Jewish Americans. First proclaimed by President George W. Bush on April 20, 2006, each successive president has declared the month of May to be a time when we reflect on the accomplishments and contributions of Jewish Americans. President Donald Trump issued the 2018 proclamation on April 30.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) will be streaming interviews with three Holocaust survivors this month. The first interview took place on May 3 and the other two will be on May 9 and May 10. Viewers can watch them live or stream them later at their convenience on the USHMM website.
The Birmingham Public Library’s Southern History Department has plenty of resources for those researching their Jewish ancestry. In addition to books on genealogy, we also have many titles relating to the Jewish experience in the South, histories of Jewish congregations in Alabama, and fun titles like Shalam Y’all and Matzoh Ball Gumbo. Check out our newest subject guide on Jewish Heritage for links to these titles and many others.
The popular genealogy database, Ancestry.com has a special section on Jewish genealogy. Their Jewish Family History Collection contains numerous databases that are available for free. For those that require a subscription, the library edition of Ancestry.com is available at all of Alabama’s public libraries.
Follow the links below for more information on Jewish genealogy and history:
American Jewish Archives
Birmingham Holocaust Education Center
Douglas E. Goldman Jewish Genealogy Center
Israel Genealogy Research Association
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