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By virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution of Virginia in the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is hereby officially recognized:


WHEREAS, in 1654, Jewish settlers landed on the shore of Manhattan Island, fleeing religious persecution and discrimination, with further migration to Virginia upon the passing of Thomas Jefferson’s “Statute for Religious Freedom” in 1786 in the Virginia General Assembly; and,

WHEREAS, the first Jewish congregation in Virginia, Kahal Kadosh Beth Shalome, was established in Richmond in 1789 and is the sixth oldest congregation in the nation; and,

WHEREAS, in 1986, the Virginia Israel Trade Commission was established to explore cultural, educational and economic opportunities and is now known as the Virginia Israel Advisory Board to assist cooperation and economic opportunities in Virginia; and,

WHEREAS, the Virginia Holocaust Museum, established in 1997, draws students from across Virginia to educate on the importance of the Holocaust through its powerful exhibits, special programs and community outreach; and,

WHEREAS, Jewish Americans are closely connected to the history of our Commonwealth through their past contributions and present advancements across religious, cultural, and economic achievements; and,

WHEREAS, the Commission to Combat Antisemitism, an advisory commission within the Office of the Governor, is studying antisemitism in the Commonwealth, proposing actions to combat antisemitism and compiling materials to provide assistance to Virginia’s public school system and state institutions of higher education in order to chart a course for our Commonwealth that leaves antisemitism in the past; and,

WHEREAS, Jewish American Heritage Month in the Commonwealth is an opportunity to celebrate the history, culture, faith and accomplishments of the over 150,000 Jewish Americans in Virginia who help shape the cultural fabric of our nation and strengthen the Spirit of Virginia;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Glenn Youngkin, do hereby recognize May 2022 as JEWISH AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of our citizens.