Jewish American Heritage Month

Alameda Celebrates Jewish American Heritage Month



Eliezer "Elie" Wiesel

(September 30, 1928 – July 2, 2016)

Born in Romania, Elie Wiesel was a writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, and Holocaust survivor. He authored dozens of books including Night, which is read in Alameda schools and is based on his experiences in concentration camps. Wiesel helped establish the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. and was a strong defender of human rights during his lifetime.


Alexandra (“Aly”) Rose Raisman

Aly is an American gymnast and two-time Olympian. She was a member and captain of both the 2012 and 2016 U.S. Women's Olympic Gymnastics teams, which won team gold. In 2016, Raisman also won the individual all-around silver medal and floor silver medal. In 2012, Raisman was the most decorated American gymnast with gold medals in the team and floor competitions as well as a bronze medal on the balance beam.


Albert Einstein

(March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955)

Born in Germany, Einstein was a theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity. He is famous for his mas-energy equivalence, commonly referred to as E=MC squared, and is also knows as the "world's most famous equation." Einstein received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics. Einstein settled in the United States after Hitler came to power in 1933, and became an American citizen in 1940.


Bella Savitzky Abzug

(July 24, 1920 – March 31, 1998)

Bella Abzug, also referred to by her nickname "Battling Bella", was a lawyer, U.S. Representative, social activist, and leader of the Women’s Movement. In 1070, her first campaign slogan was, “This woman’s place is in the House – the House of Representatives.” She co-founded the National Women’s Political Caucus in 1971. She went on to lead the National Advisory Commission for Women.


Levi Strauss

(February 26, 1829 – September 26, 1902)

At 18, Levi Strauss traveled to the United States to join his brothers who had a wholesale dry goods business in New York City. As a businessman, in 1853 Strauss went on to found the first company to manufacture blue jeans, Levi Strauss & Co., in San Francisco.  


Rashida Leah Jones

Rashida Jones is an American actress, producer, singer, and writer. She is well known for playing Ann Perkins on the comedy series Parks and Recreation. She also appeared as Karen Filippelli on the comedy series The Office, was also on the drama series Boston Public, and has appears in a number of films. Currently, she stars as the lead title role in the comedy series Angie Tribeca. Rashida Jones attended Harvard and gave the commencement speech in 2016.  


Steven Allan Spielberg

Steven Spielberg is a filmmaker for more than 40 years and is the highest-grossing director in history. Spielberg co-founded DreamWorks Studios. Spielberg won the Academy Award for Best Director for Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan, and was nominated five other times. Three films, Jaws, E.T., and Jurassic Park, broke box office records


Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Born Joan Ruth Bader to Russian Jewish immigrants in New York, and often referred to as “RBG,” Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Ginsburg was appointed to the Court on August 10, 1993 and was the second female justice to be confirmed. Ginsburg earned her bachelor's degree at Cornell, and studied law at Harvard before transferring to Columbia where she graduated first in her class.