Racial Justice Resources for Faith Leaders

Only weeks ago, over fifty rabbis in New York joined with JFREJ to call for the passage of a bill (the Right To Know act) that will help to curtail discriminatory, racist policing. In the wake of the tragic shootings in Charleston, the recent burnings of Black churches, and the ongoing, systematic violence directed at people of color by police throughout the country, we call on faith leaders in the Jewish community to take a central role in the movement to end racism and ensure police accountability. Here are some resources to help inform and guide the work of rabbis and other faith leaders. To become involved with JFREJ's police accountability work, contact us here. JFREJ Resources: Passover 2015 BlackLivesMatter Haggadah Supplement Know Your Responsibilities Guide Letter from Rabbis Urging Passage of the Right To Know Act Resources from Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ): Lamentations, Racial Biases, and the Confederate Flag: A South Carolina Rabbi's Perspectives “What do we read when there are no good words? As I thought about the text to teach following the tragedy at Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, my mind fixed on the nine murdered. Murdered in their church, a holy sanctuary of God. Murdered because of who they were – because of the color of their skin. I turned not to the five scrolls of Torah, but to the book of Lamentations, called in Hebrew simply Eicha. Alas! Lament!” by Rabbi Leah Doberne-Schor A Prayer for Ferguson “I live in two worlds. I am Jewish and I am black, and I am calling out to the Jewish community to please take notice of these past events, not just the events in Ferguson but the number of black men and people of color in our society who are stopped by police, arrested by police and even killed by police... We as a Jewish community can no longer say these issues do not concern us.” by Sandra Lawson The Voice of God “On the police violence front, we follow the leadership of the young black organizers who emerged from Ferguson, Missouri. When we as rabbis speak out, bringing the power of Jewish tradition and the privilege of our station to bear on these issues, we seek to amplify the divine echoes we hear in our compatriots’ words.” by Rabbi Lev Meirowitz Nelson Charleston Massacre by Marge Piercy Prayer for Synagogues for Shabbat Vayeshev 5755/December 13, 2014, The Day of the March on Washington “Help us, dear God, to turn a constructive ‘moral video camera’ on our society, on our lives, so that we can be honest about the continuing and worsening structural inequities, in housing, education, and employment as well as in law enforcement and criminal justice, because without this honest accounting, there can be no profound change and no long-term peace” by Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub This Sunday, I am Fasting for Black Churches “On this 17th of Tammuz, we Jews are mindful that there is no greater communal violation than the violation of sacred space. And as the walls of ancient Jerusalem were once violated, and now the walls of the contemporary black church are being violated.” by Rabbi Seth Goldstein The History and Context of the Terrorizing of Black Sacred Spaces Centuries of Violence, By Dr. Kindada E. Williams, Associate Professor of History, Wayne State University, Slate Magazine, 19 June 2015 “Reconstructing the American Tradition of Domestic Terrorism,” By Dr. Heather Cox Richardson, Professor of History, Boston College, werehistory.org, 18 June 2015 Why White Terrorist Attack Black Churches, By Dr. Matthew Cressler, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, the College of Charleston, Slate Magazine, 19 June 2015 Additional Resources From Our Jewish Social Justice Partners http://jufj.org/content/resources-rabbis http://blacklivesmatterjewishresources.org/