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Mourning George Floyd; Reflecting on the Weight of This Moment

Dear Friends,

The mission statement on our website at TBS is clear: “We embrace people of all ages from a wide variety of backgrounds.” We want to make explicitly clear that our embrace includes People of Color, Black Americans and Jews of Color. You are seen, your voices matter, you are valued as members of this community.

The Torah calls us to love our fellow as ourselves and to build a world of kindness and justice. We are called to work towards a world where each person is seen and knows they are seen as b’tzelem E-lohim -- with knowledge that every human being is created in the image of God. 

The killing of George Floyd and the ensuing protests throughout the county have demanded our attention and led us to sometimes painful introspection. We as Jews have faced injustice and we must examine systemic structures of inequality where we live. This is a moment that calls us as Jews to build a world of kindness and stand up for those whose voices have been marginalized. The Torah demands that we not stand idly by as our fellows are hurt, and we are told tzedek, tzedek tirdof -- justice, justice shall you pursue. This command is even more crucial as we continue to face COVID-19 which has affected communities of color far more than whiter neighborhoods. 

We invite you to consider some of these lists of actions compiled by other organizations that include resources for educating (anti racism resource listHarvard IARA resources, and NY Times Anti-Racism Books for kids), including voices of color in your news (SPL Resource listEmerson), supporting minority owned businesses (Boston Black Biz listing and Black Economic Council of MA) and those that can, giving tzedakah. There are statements issued by our Greater Boston Jewish Community that we invite you to read (JCRCGBIOJTA article). We are not all standing in the same place and still we have our work cut out for us.

If you would like to think through more deeply how members of the Tremont Street Shul community can support Black lives, People of Color, and anti-racism work please reach out to shul Vice-President Leah Robins.

We pray you stay safe.We pray for those who demand justice and change.We pray for our police force as they work toward justice. We pray for the victims and their families -- may they find comfort and healing.

In friendship,
Brian Eisenstein, President, Tremont Street Shul
Leah Robins, Vice-President, Tremont Street Shul

Thu, July 9 2020 17 Tammuz 5780