The Jewish Alliance and the Board of Rabbis Stand with the Black Community
The Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode and the Board of Rabbis of Greater Rhode Island are heartbroken and angered by the death of George Floyd at the hands of four police officers in Minneapolis last week. We stand with the Black community and all communities in mourning the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmed Aubrey, Breonna Taylor and countless others who have lost their lives simply because of the pervasive racism in our nation. We are committed to standing together with them to fight against unequal justice in our country and state.
Manifestations of racism are sometimes intentional though they are often systemic and disguised. From housing availability and practices, access, and quality of education, to health outcomes, sentencing practices, and other policies, our state is not immune to the institutional racism and disparate opportunities for White people and people of color.
We support the Black community and will follow their lead in joining the fight against institutional and individual racism, which continue to traumatize and devalue the lives of people of color in America. While we abhor the violence we have seen at some protests — both by protestors and by those with other agendas — we will not let that distract us from the fact that systemic racism is the true issue at hand.
We commit to addressing racism within ourselves, our institutions, and our communities. We commit to strengthening our relationships with other communities. We commit to following the lead of communities directly affected. We commit to examining and processing our own histories and actions around racism and inclusion. We commit to continuing the fight for justice and to collaborate to ensure it is justice for all.
As Pirkei Avot teaches, “The day is short, the work is great. You are not expected to finish the work, but you are not free to desist.” Now is not the time to sit idly by. We will provide updates in the coming days on activities we are undertaking and those our partners are requesting our support in. Educate yourselves (see below); show support for those communities directly affected; most importantly, stand up and commit to change.
While there are a multitude of powerful resources, we want to lift up some recommended places to begin: