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Resources on Racial Justice

RACISM AND POLICE BRUTALITY

"The Book of Ecclesiastes teaches us, “עת לחשות ועת לדבר - There is a time to be silent and a time to speak out.” As a community we cannot remain silent after watching the shattering video of a police officer keeping his knee on the neck of George Floyd who was crying out “I can’t breathe.” Such inhumane treatment of another human being requires a collective response from all people of conscience. The pursuit of justice is a fundamental tenet of Judaism, and thus we stand together with our brothers and sisters to declare that all life is sacred, and all people are equal before the law in a democratic society. " - Rabbi Rein, June 1, 2020

   The Social Action Committee of Agudas Achim has as one of its key areas of focus working with our brothers and sisters of color to combat racism in our community.  We say that black lives matter. Get involved with our work to increase our reach!

   Here are some resources for this time.

1. A video message and letter from the Alexandria Police Department and Alexandria Chief of Police.

2. Speak Out: The NAACP has a petition in support of justice for Floyd George and we encourage people to sign.

   Our partners at Alfred Street Baptist Church recommended that social media statements showing support for our African American friends and their community at this time are deeply meaningful.

3. Self-Education: This is a critical part of racial teshuva. Avodah has resources to support white Jews' racial teshuva on their blog and web site, including videos and workshops from Jewish leaders of Color such as Dr. Koach Frazier and Yavilah McCoy, and a Shavuot piece by National Program Director Sarra Alpert on the racial divisions of COVID-19, and "The Torah Case for Reparations," by Avodah’s spiritual advisor, Rabbi Aryeh Bernstein. In support of Jews of Color, we urge congregants to consider supporting the Jews of Color Field Building Initiative, which now has a fund to support Jews of Color affected by COVID-19.

   The National Museum of African American History and Culture has a "Talking about Race" portal with useful resources as well. Families with children may want to explore Embrace Race to learn how to help our children short circuit the subconscious racism many white children, including Jews, learn from American culture.

4. Congregants may also want to consider learning further from the organizations Campaign Zero or Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). Campaign Zero can give you ideas on what you might do to help end police violence and it also tracks legislation. Anti-racism work also involves asking uncomfortable questions about our own biases about the world around us, and SURJ facilitates such difficult discussions, questioning assumptions, and learning to have conversations that include strong views of different people. SURJ will hold a June 9th Zoom workshop on Alternatives to Calling the Police. 

Mon, December 6 2021 2 Tevet 5782