The America you didn’t know
1 There are 5.3 million US Jews — 2.2 per cent of the population.
2 The oldest congregation is New York’s Sephardi Shearith Israel community (1654).
3 The first American Haggadah was published in 1837 by S.H. Jackson.
4 To meet the demand from Jewish immigrants in 1911, a kosher kitchen was built at their arrival point at Ellis Island.
5 There are no Jewish Republicans in the Senate or the House. The Democrats have 22 Congress members and 11 Senators.
6 Christopher Columbus’s interpreter on his voyage to the New World was Yosef Halevy, a Catholic convert. 7 The words “…give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…” on the Statue of Liberty were written by a Jewish woman, Emma Lazarus.
8 The first openly Jewish senator was Judah P. Benjamin, a slave owner representing Louisiana.
9 Judith Resnick was the first Jewish astronaut in space. She died in the Challenger shuttle disaster in 1986.
10 Baseball player Sandy Koufax refused to play in the first game of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur.
11 In a 1934 basketball game between New York University and City College of New York, nine out of the10startingplay- ers were Jewish, Newsweek proclaimed it a sport “at which Jews excel”.
12 Immigrant Julius Meyer lived with Sioux indians in Nebraska in 1867 and became known as Curly-Headed White Chief with One Tongue due to his honesty.
13 Ever wondered why blue dominates the Facebook colour scheme? Founder Mark Zuckerberg has is colour-blind, which means he sees blue best.
14 Yip Harburg, born to Yiddish-speaking parents from Minsk, wrote the lyrics to the Oscar-winning Over the Rainbow .
15 The “I Love New York” logo was designed by Milton Glaser.
16 Mel Blanc provided the voice for cartoon characters Bugs Bunny, Woody Woodpecker, and Barney Rubble.