Each month, there are a ton of national holidays and observances in the US - ranging from the very important to the very mundane and borderline comical. These monthly observances can be a great way to raise awareness and generate conversation around certain topics and identities.
This month, for example, is National Mental Health Awareness Month, which many brands and creators are recognizing. Selena Gomez even launched a campaign this year to spread awareness and resources about mental health specific to May. As a brand driven by anxiety, we're recognizing Mental Health Awareness Month in many different ways, too.
Then there are lots of others, ranging from Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, ALS Awareness Month, and even the funnier ones like National Cheese Month.
But...there's also another one. May is Jewish American Heritage Month. But you might not know it...
At the start of the month, when I logged into Uber Eats, there was a homepage feature about AAPI Heritage Month and eating at AAPI-owned restaurants (l love that they do that, by the way). The same goes for Amazon Prime and HBO Max, but for films and shows. Brands I subscribe to sent out emails wishing us a happy this month or that month, but none of them - not one - mentioned Jewish American Heritage Month.
Given that most Jewish Americans have been in this country for three to four generations at this point, and have contributed so much, in theory this would be shocking. But in reality, it's not. The graphic below showing publicly available hashtags on Instagram for many of this month's holidays and observances paints a larger picture. #JewishAmericanHeritageMonth falls right between the comical #AmericanCheeseMonth and #NationalBarbecueMonth.
Though there are many prominent Jewish Americans across all industries, this highlights a national sentiment that makes Jewish Americans feel erased. Feel unimportant. It's this sentiment that causes so many Jewish Americans to be uncomfortable about embracing their history. The world around them has taught them not to. The world around them has taught us that being seen is a privilege that we don't get to have. And when we are seen as Jews, it's often under dangerous or offensive circumstances.
Simply put, being erased or overlooked is just not a good feeling. To be honest, it sucks.
As a Jewish-inspired brand (not to be confused with a brand only for Jews), we want to change that. We want to make our community feel seen in positive ways. We want our community to know that our histories and contributions are seen and valued, and we want to show what it looks like to respectfully (and stylishly) demand the space and visibility that we believe in for others.