May is both Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month AND Jewish Heritage Month. It’s a moment to explore the treasures of these vast cultures! And for some of us, it’s an occasion to celebrate the gifts of being part of both.

  1. In honor of AAPI Heritage Month, we will be hosting Melissa Bailey Nihei from the Japantown Task Force. Melissa will talk about her grandparents’ time in the internment camps as well how she’s found personal meaning in sharing local Japanese history with others.

2. The Lunar Collective cultivates connection, belonging and visibility for Asian American Jews through programs and digital storytelling. Check out their film series! And look out for Bay Area events.

3. Last week, members of the Class of 2027 visited Chinese seniors at the Jackie Chan Center to share a Jewish song and Passover stories, as well as serve them lunch. In return, the elders gifted us with handmade red origami fish symbolizing abundance in the new year! If you’d like to volunteer at any of the Self-Help for the Elderly site, contact Anni Chung.

4. There are only three remaining Japantowns left in the U.S., and JCHS is located just a few blocks from one of them! San Francisco’s Japantown holds a long history dating back to when Japanese immigrants first set foot onto the mainland in 1860 through redevelopment in the 1960s, and up to the present day. The community is diverse and yet preserves Japanese culture through the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, the Nihonmachi Street Fair, Bon Odori and Oshogatsu (New Year’s) activities, and more. Look out for info about a JCHS walking tour in late May!