June 18, 2015

Jews for Racial & Economic Justice mourns the murder of 9 AME Church Members

New York, NY — Jews for Racial & Economic Justice is devastated by a white gunman’s massacre of nine Black members of the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. As a Jewish community committed to ending racism, we are heartsick at this violent act of white supremacy and terror against a Black community in their place of worship.

Black churches have historically been both a physical safe haven from white supremacist culture and a critical institution in the fight against racism. Thus it is particularly devastating to see this violent act of racism and terror perpetrated at one of the oldest Black churches in the country. We mourn the lives that were taken and the wrenching loss of a sense of physical safety that accompanies this act of terror, both in Charleston and across our nation.

This act was carried out by an individual white man, but it is anti-Black racism at all levels of American society that creates the conditions in which a horrible murder like this can take place. We send our love and prayers to the Black community of Charleston, and reaffirm our commitment to fighting against anti-Black racism in all its forms.

Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ) pursues racial and economic justice in New York City by advancing systemic changes that result in concrete improvements in people’s everyday lives.

For all media inquiries, please contact:

Marjorie Dove Kent, Executive Director