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Or Shalom Jewish Community Statement Against Racism

As Jews who have been perennial victims of the form of racism called antisemitism for thousands of years, we deplore all acts of racism, racial profiling, hate speech, hate crimes, ethnic assault, ethnic cleansing, and genocide, including all forms of antisemitism, Islamophobia, and homophobia, regardless of who the perpetrators or victims are.

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who marched for civil rights with his friend Reverend Martin Luther King, described racism as “the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason”. Our tradition reverently teaches that all lives matter and that the destruction of a single human being is as if it were a destruction of an entire world, while the saving of a single human being is as if it were the saving of an entire world (Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 37a). Having escaped our slavery, we were a diverse group at Mt. Sinai, which we still are, and we respect and value the strength, beauty, and wisdom of diversity.

As a progressive community of Jews and non-Jews dedicated to learning (limud), acts of lovingkindness (gemilut chasadim), Jewish spiritual practice (avodah), and social action (tikkun olam), we stand resolutely against all forms, whether in word or deed, of hate, racial discrimination, religious bigotry, and sectarian violence, so often directed against racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities. 

Thu, December 8 2022 14 Kislev 5783