We are pleased to share with you the following press release issued today by the Office of Communications of Missouri Governor Michael L. Parson. Rabbi Ze’ev Smason, Chairman of CJV Missouri, initiated the proclamation referenced therein, and the release below, including the mention of the Missouri Chapter of the Coalition for Jewish Values, is verbatim as received.

Governor Parson Proclaims September as Jewish American Heritage Month in Missouri

Recognizes Official Working Definition of Antisemitism

Jefferson City, MO—Today, joined by all Missouri statewide elected officials and the Missouri Chapter of the Coalition for Jewish Values, Governor Parson proclaimed September as Jewish American Heritage Month in Missouri. While commonly celebrated during May on the national level, Governor Parson chose this month to proclaim Jewish American Heritage Month as several major Jewish holidays are celebrated in September, including Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and the start of Sukkot.

“Missouri’s own Harry S. Truman was the first world leader to officially recognize Israel as a legitimate Jewish state, and we continue our proud support for members of the Jewish faith today,” Governor Parson said. “While we always want to recognize, honor, and appreciate the contributions members of the Jewish faith make to our culture and communities across the state, we especially want to do so during Jewish American Heritage Month. We also want to take this opportunity to unequivocally reject antisemitism towards Jewish people and bigotry of any kind. Today and every day, we say hate and discrimination have no home in Missouri.”

In addition to Governor Parson’s proclamation recognizing September 2023 as Jewish American Heritage Month in Missouri, it also adopts the working definition of antisemitism as established by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), which more than 1,100 global agencies, 40 countries, and 31 U.S. states have also adopted.

The definition reads: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred towards Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestation of antisemitism are directed towards Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions, and religious facilities.”

“During Jewish American Heritage Month, we celebrate our state’s strong support for Israel and those of the Jewish faith,” Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe said. “We also reaffirm Missouri’s commitment to rejecting antisemitism and discrimination toward the Jewish community.”

“As secretary of state, I am pleased and honored to recognize the faith and fortitude of Jewish Americans and the contributions they have made to the great state of Missouri and this republic,” Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said. “Generations of Jewish people have come to this country; some fleeing oppression and discrimination, others searching for the American dream. I stand together with Jewish Missourians to celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month as we push forward to preserve freedom and form a more perfect union.”

“I’m proud to join Governor Parson in recognizing the outstanding contributions made by people of the Jewish faith not only to our state but also to our American principles and way of life,” Missouri State Auditor Scott Fitzpatrick said. “Jewish American Heritage Month offers us an opportunity to honor and learn more about the culture, experiences, struggles, and achievements of the Jewish people and the countless ways Jewish Americans have made our state, our nation, and our world a better place. This is also a time for us to stand together to send a clear message that antisemitism, or discrimination of any kind, has no place in Missouri. Our state will not tolerate hatred or bigotry toward the Jewish people and will always strive to be a place that protects and respects their values, contributions, and culture.”

“I commend Governor Parson for establishing September as Jewish American Heritage Month in Missouri,” State Treasurer Vivek Malek said. “The Jewish Community has a proud and significant history in Missouri, and I’m honored to celebrate this important new tradition.”

“The Attorney General’s Office has a history of standing against antisemitism and taking action to combat anti-Israel bias,” Attorney General Andrew Bailey said. “We will continue to defend Jewish Missourians across the state this month and every month.”

To view the proclamation, click here.