When Rabbis Bless Congress Book Talk May 10
Press Release · Friday, May 6, 2022

Washington, DC

The National Archives celebrates Jewish American Heritage Month on Tuesday, May 10, at 1 p.m. ET with a special virtual program: When Rabbis Bless Congress: The Great American Story of Jewish Prayers on Capitol Hill. Joining author Howard Mortman in conversation will be Brian Lamb, founder and former CEO of C-SPAN. Register in advance; watch the livestream on the National Archives YouTube channel

When Rabbis Bless Congress is the first-ever academic and historical examination of a little-known tradition in Congress: opening each session of the House and Senate in prayer. Mortman tells the story of more than 400 rabbis giving over 600 prayers since the Civil War days―who they are and what they say. The book is an important addition to our understanding of Congress and Jewish contributions to America.

Howard Mortman is C-SPAN Communications Director and handles media outreach, corporate communications, and public relations efforts for the nation’s only public affairs cable television network. A veteran of Washington, DC, media organizations, he has observed Congress from positions at MSNBC, National Journal’s Hotline, Broadcasting Board of Governors, and New Media Strategies.

Brian Lamb is founder of the C-SPAN Networks and C-SPAN's former executive chair. He’s been an integral part of C-SPAN since he helped the cable industry launch it on March 19, 1979, serving as the network’s CEO until March of 2012. He has received numerous honors including the Presidential Medal of Honor and the National Humanities Medal. 

Coming soon: All American sports exhibit to include Jewish athletes!
The National Archives celebrates the history of sports with a new exhibit, All American: The Power of Sports, opening on September 16, 2022. All American explores the power of sports to embody our national ideals and the power of athletes to challenge us to live up to them. The exhibit highlights Jewish athletes including baseball’s “Hammerin’ Hank” Greeenberg, boxing legend Benny Leonard, and track stars Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller, who were banned from participating in the 1936 Olympics. All American: The Power of Sports is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of AT&T, AARP, and Jacqueline B. Mars. Additional support provided by HISTORY® and the Lawrence F. O’Brien Family.

National Archives’ Jewish American Heritage Month-related records
Our holdings include countless records reflecting Jewish contributions to American culture, history, military, science, government, and more. Find numerous related online resources on our Jewish American Heritage Month Special Topics page. Highlights include: 

Related book talks on the National Archives YouTube Channel:


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For press information contact the National Archives Public and Media Communications Staff at 202-357-5300.

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This page was last reviewed on May 6, 2022.
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