In light of recent events involving the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania issues the following statement:
The tragedy of the death of George Floyd has again raised the specter of racism in America. Unfortunately, Mr. Floyd’s demise at the hands of those who were tasked with protecting all citizens is just the latest occurrence involving a long, growing list of mistreatment of African Americans by both public officials and individuals.
We of the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania join with the Floyd family, the African American community, and all other Americans of good will in condemning acts of violence against persons of color and in demanding swift justice. We also renew our condemnation of all forms of racism and discrimination. The Jewish community has long stood for justice and fairness, and against discrimination of all types. Our religion and our teachings command us to do this. Our own experiences throughout the centuries and our knowledge and observations of the treatment of others call upon us to speak up and not be complicit through silence.
Racism and anti-Semitism are kindred hatreds. Each requires strong responses from all persons and organizations of goodwill. As we condemn the violent acts that continue to target Black individuals and Black communities, we also condemn the violence of certain persons who have used the right of protest to perpetuate violence against other persons and property.
We also note that prior to the Floyd incident, the black and other communities of color had been suffering disproportionately from the Covid-19 crisis, and we mourn their losses as well as the losses of all other families. We in Northeastern Pennsylvania have been particularly affected by the virus, and we pray for a swift cure and vaccine to stop its spread.
May the current crisis of pandemic and the plagues of anti-Semitism, racism, bigotry, and intolerance soon be removed from our midst, and healing of all our minds, spirits, and bodies quickly occur. May all those who have died be remembered with blessings and those living who have suffered be comforted now and in the future.
David Fallk, Chair
Community Relations Committee
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