The divine image has been diminished by the recent unconscionable killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Dreasjon Reed, Tony McDade, and countless others, manifestations of systemic racism that has for many years pervaded the education, justice, economic, and healthcare systems, and now COVID-19 trends of our city and nation. Jewish tradition teaches: “Tzedek, tzedek tirdof/justice, justice you shall pursue.” We are responsible for the learning, the listening, and the action that will lead to justice.
The destruction and looting now present in our city bring yet another layer of loss and fear to an already challenging season of pandemic in our lives. We are thinking of our Rodeph Shalom family with love and prayers for safety.
Our clergy is in conversation with multi-faith leaders and clergy of color, and we recommend learning from these thinkers to guide our anti-racist actions:
1) How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
2) Why Will This Time Be Different Than All the Other Times? by Tema Smith
3) Talking to Kids about Race, National Geographic
May we be safe and may we be inspired to do good in our very broken world.
Rabbi Jill Maderer
Rabbi Eli Freedman
Henry B. Bernstein, President