Jewish Community of Greater Washington Expresses Solidarity with African-American Community

JCRC Statement

WASHINGTON DC—June 2, 2020 – The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington and dozens of Jewish organizations in the Washington region today issued the following statement following the killing by police of George Floyd and the ongoing response in our region and across the country:

We, the undersigned Jewish organizations in the Greater Washington region, join all people of good conscience in condemning the brutal killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. We are outraged that yet another Black life has been lost to systemic American racism. 

At a time when our nation has been convulsed by a global health crisis disproportionately impacting communities of color in our region and around the country, we demand justice, not only in the prosecution of arrested former-officer Derek Chauvin, but also in the prosecution of the three former officers who stood by while Floyd was killed.  And we demand that the system of ingrained, pernicious racism that enabled this horrific killing be uprooted and replaced by a culture of equitable, just law enforcement that protects Americans of all skin colors. 

The Jewish people will not be bystanders—our organizations and our community are called to solidarity with people of color in this moment. We value our long-standing role as mutual friends and allies to the African-American community. We are committed to dismantling institutionalized racism in America. We are in conversation with our African-American partners to listen, learn, and support. And we are committed to making our own institutions more welcoming to Jews of color and bringing justice to all marginalized people.   Each of us must dig deeper into our own stereotypes and biases and upend them.  Pursuing racial justice is a human and a moral duty, and a reflection of sacred Jewish values.

The work is hard and the obstacles daunting, but we must not resort to exhaustion, cynicism or complacency. The road to justice begins in our own backyards: we are each responsible for nurturing children, schools and local communities that are free from bias. We are each responsible for creating a society where all young people can flourish and where no child grows up to become the next Derek Chauvin.

There is no room on this journey for violence, destruction or lawlessness as we have witnessed in our own community in Washington, DC. We were pained to see the burning of St. John’s Church, “the Church of the Presidents,” and attacks on numerous other landmarks and businesses in our nation’s capital. We appreciate those who are responding to this tragedy peacefully and thoughtfully and urge all members of our community to work with one another and with law enforcement to build a better and more inclusive Washington region.

We express our deepest condolences to the family and community of George Floyd and share a traditional Jewish mourning sentiment in asking that his memory be a blessing to those who loved and knew him.

Organizational Signatories as of June 9th (in formation):

Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington
The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington
Shaare Tefila Congregation
The Jewish Studio
Fauquier Jewish Congregation
Congregation Har Shalom
Har Tzeon-Agudath Achim Congregation
Gesher Jewish Day School
Pozez JCC of Northern Virginia
Washington Board of Rabbis
Temple Rodef Shalom
Kol Shalom
Adas Israel Congregation
B'nai Israel Congregation
Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy
Magen David Sephardic Congregation
Lilliian and Albert Small Capital Jewish Museum
Agudas Achim Congregation
Jewish Women International (JWI)
Beth El Hebrew Congregation
Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School of the Nation's Capital
Jewish Labor Committee
Congregation Beth El of Montgomery County
Sunflower Bakery
Hebrew Free Loan Association of Greater Washington
Tikvat Israel Congregation
Temple Beth Ami
Tzedek DC
Congregation Adat Reyim
Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation
Operation Understanding DC-a Black/Jewish organization
Beth Chaverim Reform Congregation
Shirat HaNefesh
3GDC - Washington DC Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivor
Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School
Hillel at The George Washington University
George Mason University Hillel
Washington Hebrew Congregation
Jewish Council for the Aging (JCA)
ADL Washington, D.C. Region
Congregation Beth Emeth
Bikur Cholim of Greater Washingotn/BCGW
Capital Camps and Retreat Center
DC Jews on Bikes
Congregation Or Chadash
Congregation Olam Tikvah
DC Minyan
2 For Seder
Temple Micah
American University Hillel
Temple Beth Torah - Chantilly, VA
Bender JCC of Greater Washington
Jewish Foundation for Group Homes
Congregation Adat Reyim
Congregation Etz Hayim
Temple B'nai Shalom
Temple Emanuel
Congregation B'nai Tzedek
Chesapeake Bay Region of B'nai B'rith International
The Haberman Institute for Jewish Studies
B’nai  B’rith International
B’nai Shalom of Olney
Maryland-Israel Sister State Committee
Ohr Kodesh Congregation
Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center
Shaare Torah
The Den Collective
Minyan Oneg Shabbat
Beth Sholom Congregation
Hill Havurah
Ramah Day Camp of Greater Washington DC
Kesher Israel - The Georgetown Synagogue
Congregation Ner Shalom
Fabrangen Havurah
Am Kolel
The Tasman Center for Jewish Creativity
Temple Shalom
Bet Mishpachah
University of Maryland Hillel
The Generations After, Inc.
Sixth & I
Kehilat Shalom
Aish Center of Greater Washington
Beth Sholom Congregation and Talmud Torah
Congregation Sha'are Shalom
Temple Solel
Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation
Maryland-Israel Sister State Committee
Tifereth Israel Congregation
Jewish Residents of Leisure World
Bethesda Jewish Congregation
Hadassah Greater Washington
Tikkun Olam Women's Foundation
National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry (NCSEJ)
Minyan Roeh
JAMAAT (Jews and Muslims and Allies Acting Together)
Hillel at Gallaudet
Hadar Institute    
Ohev Sholom - The National Synagogue
Bend the Arc: Jewish Action - Prince George’s
Kehila Chadasha
Interfaith Families Project
Kemp Mill Synagogue
Mayberg Foundation
Oseh Shalom, Laurel MD
The Morningstar Foundation
Mishkan Torah

If your Jewish Communal organization would like to sign onto this statement, please select this link.