Are you, or do you know anyone of German Jewish Descent, or any Dual German-American Jews? For the fourth year, there will be a Jewish Contingent marching in the New York Steuben German-American Friendship Parade (September 21, 2013) commemorating German Jewish contributions to America. Most people do not know how many German Jewish people, groups and ideas influenced our American culture. Even American Reform Judaism and Modern Orthodox Judaism can trace their roots to Germany. Temple Emanuel, the UJA Federation, Bnai Brith, and Henry Street Settlement were also started by German Jews. Notable German born Jews such as Henry Kissinger, Ruth Westheimer, Albert Einstein, etc. are just a few of those who enriched America.
In 2007 I became a dual German-American citizen and attended my first Steuben Parade. That year I just watched and actually felt uncomfortable and alien from what I saw; even though I would probably have been wearing lederhosen if Hitler didn’t come to power (since my parents were both Bavarian). I stood in front of Temple Emanuel that year, as sort of a buffer. But the next year I joined in the Parade and marched as a group of one. They even moved the date of the Parade so that it wouldn’t conflict with Yom Kippur. There has been a 400% increase since the first year I walked alone; and now I am reaching out to the internet to find other German Jewish Americans to join in our group.
Since the Parade is on a Saturday, most Jewish groups cannot officially join us; but individuals can march if they want. My goal is to show that the world has changed in Germany and to remember all of the contributions that German Jews gave to America in the past. So if you want to join us or know of someone who might; contact us and spread the word!
Editor Note: German Pulse will also have an official presence at the Chicago and New York Steuben Parades again this year. Stay tuned for more information on how you can also march with us in the parades this September.