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‘Justice, justice shall you pursue’

Published: 8/19/2020 12:55:51 PM

Like many other communities of faith, the Jewish Community of Amherst (JCA) is committed to addressing systemic racism and white supremacy and the ways it impacts everything from educational opportunity, economics, fair housing, health care, environmental impacts and more.

We stand in solidarity with all those who work for racial justice. The JCA has established a Racial Justice Initiative which includes: active study and self-reflection, donations to organizations working on issues of racial justice, participation in interfaith coalitions, learning about and supporting criminal justice reform and standing ready to support Black churches and organizations.

We commit to making our community anti-racist and welcoming for Black Jews and other Jews of color. We will show up for each other every time one of us is targeted due to our differences. We reject efforts to divide us against each other. We support the movement in this country calling for accountability and transparency from the government and law enforcement.

We know that freedom and safety for any, depends on the freedom and safety of all. A central tenet of Jewish thinking and community life is the Scriptural command “Tzedek, tzedektirdof” which means…. Justice, justice shall you pursue (Deuteronomy 16:20). We will do our part to be actively anti-racist and to contribute, as a faith community dedicated to justice, in the many ways we can. We invite your participation.

Eric Weiss


The writer is president of the Jewish Community of Amherst board of directors.

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