The history of Jewish Americans is one that stretches back far beyond the foundation of the United States. In 1654, many Jewish immigrants arrived in America and began building the country with English, French and German immigrants. Those Jews who came to America faced a lot of discrimination from society, yet they persevered with hard work and determination.
Through their struggles, they managed to make many meaningful contributions to American culture and life. Many prominent figures in American history have been Jewish, including Supreme Court Justices such as Louis Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter and Abe Fortas; Nobel laureates like Albert Einstein; composers such as Leonard Bernstein and Irving Berlin; athletes such as Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax; scientists like Jonas Salk; business leaders like Milton Hershey; writers including Isaac Bashevis Singer and Saul Bellow; filmmakers like Steven Spielberg; entertainers like Mel Brooks and Jerry Seinfeld–the list goes on.
To learn more about this incredible story of perseverance against all odds, we suggest watching “An American Story: The History of Jewish Americans,” a documentary produced by PBS in 2020. This two-hour documentary provides an insightful overview of how Jewish people overcame adversity to become integral members of American life over the centuries. Viewers will be inspired by stories of courage from everyday people to famous figures whose achievements forever changed our nation’s history.
We invite you watch “An American Story: The History of Jewish Americans” and celebrate the courage, resilience, strength and creativity that has been contributed by generations of Jews throughout US history.