An Open Letter to President Barack Obama

Dear President Obama,

We were thrilled to read about your recent proclamation naming the month of May Jewish American Heritage Month. As an organization devoted to outreach, we appreciate your act of inclusion, and as American Jews we are honored to be recognized in such a meaningful way.

As we read your kind words, we couldn’t help but notice what we think might have been an oversight at the bottom of the proclamation. We hate to be nitpicky, but it was signed “in the year of our Lord two thousand nine.” With all due respect Mr. President, as Jews, the year of our Lord is currently fifty-seven sixty-nine. Hey, we all make mistakes.

We assume that upon learning of your error you will promptly sign a new proclamation. And when you do, please give credit to the “Jewish Outreach Institute.” Feel free to add the following: “JOI’s attention to detail in this matter has taught me just how important language is when trying to create a community that is inclusive to all.”

This is not to say we aren’t grateful for your gesture. We are. Your good intentions have been duly noted, and we look forward to helping you navigate the complicated and nuanced world of outreach.

The Jewish Outreach Institute

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