Culture Matters: Contributions and Innovations of Jewish Americans

07/05/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Rep. Mike Honda U.S. Representative, California's 15th Congressional District

This May, I am honored to join my friends in the Jewish community in celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month, and to recognize the contributions made to our country by Jewish Americans.

With a culture that places a strong value on education and community, Jewish Americans have enriched our society and contributed to the economic and cultural vitality of our nation, especially in California's 15th District. My community in Silicon Valley, particularly the high tech industry, has benefited greatly from the contributions and innovation of Jewish Americans.

Jewish Americans are leading entrepreneurs in renewable energy development and high-tech research in my district, and they are also leaders in engaging our youth. For the past two years, I have worked with Chabad of San Jose to provide funding for their Prevention, Resource, Information and Drug Education (PRIDE) Project, which provides at-risk youth with the tools necessary to prevent them from getting involved with drugs and alcohol. Organizations like Chabad of San Jose, and many other non-profits led by Jewish Americans, are working to make our district a better, safer, and healthier place.

Jewish immigrants came to our country, hoping to fulfill their dreams by participating in the American promise of socio-economic mobility, democracy, and cultural acceptance. The stories of their successes in our country are greatly inspiring.

I am privileged to represent a civically engaged community of Jewish Americans, a community I have always been close to. My district's Jewish American community stands as a shining example of what makes Silicon Valley a global leader, and it is an honor to have the opportunity to celebrate the contributions they have made to our country.