May is Jewish American Heritage Month
May 15, 2023
May is Jewish American Heritage Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Jewish Americans to our nation’s history, culture, and society. As we reflect on the many notable figures who have left their mark on American life, it’s impossible not to think of Neil Diamond, one of the most beloved musicians of the past century, and a proud Jewish American.
Born in Brooklyn in 1941 to Jewish immigrant parents, Neil grew up in a tight-knit community that valued hard work, education, and the arts. From an early age, he showed a passion for music, playing guitar and writing songs as a teenager. After studying at New York University, Neil pursued a career in the music industry, eventually becoming one of the most successful and influential artists of his generation.
Throughout his career, Neil has never shied away from his Jewish heritage. In fact, he has embraced it, incorporating Jewish themes and motifs into many of his songs and performances. One of his most famous songs, “America,” is a celebration of the immigrant experience, telling the story of a Jewish family that comes to America in search of a better life. The song’s memorable chorus – “They’re coming to America, never looking back again” – has become an anthem for generations of immigrants, including Jewish Americans.
Neil Diamond has also been an outspoken supporter of Israel, visiting the country multiple times and performing there on several occasions. In 2019, he was awarded the prestigious Genesis Prize, which recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the Jewish community and the world at large. In accepting the award, Neil spoke movingly about his Jewish heritage and his commitment to promoting peace and understanding in the world.
As we celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month, it’s important to remember the many ways in which Jewish Americans have contributed to our nation’s culture and history. Neil Diamond is just one of many examples of the creativity, resilience, and strength of the Jewish American community. His music, his activism, and his commitment to his heritage are an inspiration to us all.
Happy Jewish American Heritage Month!