Moving Traditions stands with all those outraged and heartsore at the murder of George Floyd this past week by members of the Minneapolis police force. This senseless violence follows on the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and a too-long list of people of color of all genders who have had their lives taken from them and whose families and communities still wait for justice. Adding to the pain, events of the past few days have come after months of suffering and death due to Covid-19, which has disproportionately hit communities of color because of the systemic, long-term effects of inequality and poverty.
Moving Traditions stands with those in pain, we honor the righteous anger erupting around us and through us, and we join our voices to calls for justice and peace.
The dehumanization that underlies the ability to ignore pleas like “I can’t breathe” and to snuff out a life, or to witness that kind of violence without any intervention, is terrifying and must be rooted out of our society. In this moment, let us have brave and open conversations with young people, acknowledging our pain, our questions, and our own journeys of reckoning with the racism around and within us. Let us uplift the stories of progressive action in Jewish history and open our ears to the truths and leadership of Jews of Color in our communities.
Let us teach our youth to recognize that the world rests on “justice, on truth and on peace” (Pirkei Avot 1:17). May we cease standing on the blood of our neighbors (Leviticus 19:16), instead doing all we can to stop the ceaseless killing of Black and Brown people in our country. May we hold to a vision of hope and press our society to truly repent and make teshuva for the sins of racism.
Deborah Meyer, CEO firstname.lastname@example.org
Rabbi Tamara Cohen, VP/Chief of Program Strategy email@example.com
Moving Traditions emboldens Jewish youth by fostering self-discovery, challenging sexism, and inspiring a commitment to Jewish life and learning.