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Only in America Contest

Meet our first-ever Only in America® Hometown Hero

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Only in America® contest and helped us to nominate and select the first ever “Hometown Hero” in our Museum’s Ed Snider Only in America® Gallery/Hall of Fame. We are excited to announce this year’s inaugural Hometown Hero is Pamela Blais!

Inspired by this year’s JAHM theme of supporting one another in the face of adversity, Pamela’s accomplishments reflect her heritage, traditions, and values, and embody the ancient Rabbi Hillel’s famous quote, “If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”

Pamela was nominated and chosen by the public for the significant positive community impact she made during the Covid-19 pandemic with her initiative, the Pantry Box Project. She will be invited to participate in our annual Only in America® induction ceremony later this year. You can learn a bit more about Pam below. We look forward to sharing more of her story and celebrating together. Congratulations, Pamela!

The notable Jewish Americans who will be inducted alongside Pamela will be announced later this year. Stay tuned for more details on our fall induction ceremony by subscribing to our newsletter here.

With your support we will continue to tell stories like that of Pam Blais, inspiring others to “dream, dare, and do” at the intersection of Jewish and American values. Make sure the American Jewish story is part of our shared heritage for generations to come.


About Pamela Blais

A registered nurse for 27 years, Pam Blais understands firsthand the physical and emotional toll of emergency nursing. When the coronavirus pandemic began, she immediately thought of her former hospital coworkers. She wanted to bring them whatever they needed most, starting with masks, then meals. The response from the community was so strong that she expanded the meal service to other hospitals and first responders in Virginia Beach, Virginia, launching the Pantry Box Project to deliver snacks (something healthy with a sweet treat) and notes of encouragement (courtesy of Pam’s youngest daughter and her classmates) to exhausted hospital staff in need of a quick pick-me-up and moral support. One year later, the initiative is now a nonprofit organization which she helms to support frontline healthcare providers, doctors, nurses, and other critical personnel working during the pandemic, and especially to serve their emotional and mental health needs.

Most recently, Pam and her team were able to mobilize resources the week of June 28 for a Virginia Task Force FEMA team based out of Virginia Beach who have been deployed to Surfside, FL to support the emergency effort there following the devastating building collapse. Pam and her team provided more than 200 nutrient-dense bars along with trail mix, peanut butter, and other pocket-sized snacks that will provide much needed rapid energy.

Pam was also recently named a finalist for a “Remarkable Woman” contest in her hometown. Watch the video here to learn more about Pam and her work. 

About Only in America

Click here to learn more about the Ed Snider Only in America® Gallery/Hall of Fame.


NMAJH is celebrating Museum Store Sunday with our BIGGEST DEAL OF THE YEAR! Don’t miss 20% off sitewide! Use code “BIGGESTSAVINGS” at checkout. 

Offer expires 11/28 at 11:59 ET. 

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