Words, alone, cannot fix racial inequality, nor anti-Semitism, nor bias toward any minority from Islamophobia to LGBTQ-bashing and beyond. But words CAN comfort. They can make us see we are not alone – in our pain or aspirations. And words can lead us to act. Here, read statements from Federation and other local Jewish and civic organizations, as well as one Jewish mother's account that will touch your heart.
Last week, our country witnessed the tragic and appalling death of George Floyd. We at Jewish Federation, along with so many, are feeling sorrow, anger, and indescribable frustration over this injustice.
As our Federation board and JCRC member, Amy Mallet, said this week on social media:
Let this moment be a pivoting point for new conversations, listening, learning and walking in each other's shoes. The problem of systemic racism exists. These brutal abuses have been going on for generations, and change is needed now!
As our country is mourning the horrific, inhumane death of George Floyd and the world is watching this unfold, we need to take a step back and look at how we can all be part of the solution.
There is a need for new law enforcement policies taken seriously, programs with ongoing sensitivity and anti-bias training, accountability and an understanding of the communities served with continuous communication between law enforcement and residents. Yes, there's much to be done and needs to start immediately!!
We emphatically call for a thorough investigation so justice can be served and a message sent that we cannot accept or tolerate the wrongful loss of life.
We are supportive of the thousands of people gathering peacefully and those expressing themselves from home during this pandemic. However, we vehemently denounce the violence toward law enforcement and other citizens as well as the destruction of property and businesses that serve all in our communities.
We appreciate our valued law enforcement professionals in upholding the rule of law with the greatest care for the wellbeing of the communities they serve and protect. We reject any assault on the men and women of law enforcement.
Federation leadership has reached out to the NAACP, leaders in the African American community, and elected officials to express our pain, show our support, and step up our work together fighting hate in all its forms.
This week has reminded us that we have a long way to go in our work towards a more just society for all. We will push on toward a world free of hate, racism, and bigotry in all of its forms.
The Jewish community advocates the moral value that all people are created equal and that our country must stand for equal justice and fairness for all.
Susan Antman, Executive Director
Cheryl Markbreiter, President
Federation's Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) empowers the Jewish community and cultivates interfaith and civic partnerships to push back on hate with:
- Interfaith discussion to build understanding and cooperation
- Advocacy for anti-bias laws and programs
- Supporting groups targeted by hate speech and incidents