“Whoever can protest to his household and does not, is accountable [for the sins] of his household; if he could protest to his townspeople, he is accountable for their sins; if he could protest to the whole world, he is accountable for the whole world.” – Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 54b
The recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and the staggering racial disparities highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic are extremely painful reminders of the deep-rooted systemic racism that continues to devastate our country and tear at our social fabric. They are also reminders of the work that we must do to ensure racial equity for all as we pursue a just world in line with our Jewish values.
Our hearts are heavy as we think about our communities and what they are currently facing. Repair the World stands with those who are on the frontlines protesting. We remain committed to serving our communities during this time, as we continue to see and hear the ways Repair cities have taken action. Now is the time for all of us to act, to seize this moment in order to realize meaningful change.
Our mission to mobilize Jews and their communities to take action to pursue a just world is more important now than ever. We are proud that many of our volunteers, Fellows, and staff have joined protests and are walking alongside their Black colleagues, Black community members, and Jews of Color. Here are a few ways you can take action today, by learning and supporting the fight for racial justice:
- Read this account from Black Jews responding to George Floyd protests in their own words
- Listen to the Black community by reading this article, What We in the Black Community Need from Jews Right Now
- Review 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
- Understand the Language of Activism through this resource on how to use terms like “Ally” vs “Accomplice”
- Dive into these Resources for Racial Healing and Action
- Connect with Be’chol Lashon, Dimensions Educational Consulting, Jewish Multiracial Network, Jews of Color Field Building Initiative, and other organizations elevating and centering Jews of Color
- Volunteer locally and volunteer often. Volunteering brings us closer to our neighbors and builds community across lines of difference. Communities are aware that an increase in crowds will lead to an increase in needs in the wake of COVID-19. Serving your community is needed now more than ever.
- Support the Movement for Black Lives Week of Action (June 1-5)
- If you identify as a Jew of Color, join Dimension’s JoC Community Healing Call on June 4th (open only to those who identify as Jews of Color)
- Join a local SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) Chapter and get engaged with the struggle for racial justice in your community
- Donate to local organizations fighting for racial justice in your community
- Amplify voices of Black Americans and People of Color on social media and in all of your platforms and networks
We must continue to build the bridge between serving alongside our communities and pursuing racial justice. Through the power of service we can act in solidarity. Learning from teachings by Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, we know that service offers the opportunity to get proximate to the issues plaguing our communities, to build relationships, and to understand what is broken in our systems from the people who are most impacted. As we continue to mobilize thousands to combat food injustice and education inequity, we recommit to engaging our volunteers in learning about the systemic racism that makes that service necessary.
We lift up the voices who are often silenced and we stand with those who have been forced to stand for generations. We are continuing to educate ourselves to learn how to elevate the voices of Black Americans and People of Color while not putting the burden of change on them. We stand with Black Lives Matter today, and everyday.
We have a long way to go. We are committed to working beyond this moment, listening deeply, showing up, strengthening our partnerships with those actively working towards racial equity, and living our Jewish values.
EDIT: An earlier version of this post did not include explicitly naming “Black Lives Matter.” We failed to state our support for the Black Lives Matter movement and we have edited this post to reflect our intentions and support for the movement. We apologize for the harm this caused and commit to doing better in our communications, actions, and planning.