From the Depths of Despair

We mourn the slaying of yet another Black man, George Floyd, at the hands of police officers. We also name the souls of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, their lives extinguished too, as racism and white supremacy corrode the soul of our country. These are just a few names from far too long a list.

What are our responsibilities as Adath Jeshurun? To wrestle with the systems, structures, and stigmas that enable racism in our country and ensure that people of color are treated with equality and respect. This includes creating a more inclusive experience for Jews of color in our congregation and in our larger community.

We will be creating a sub-committee of Adath’s Keruv Committee that clarifies the actions we will take to meet these responsibilities. Visibility is not a matter of going through the motions, but investing the time in relationships. We must listen, ask questions, engage in hard conversations and deep self-reflection, and take action. These are organizations in our community to support as we move toward a more just world.

“From the depths of despair I called to Adonai, God answered me with the expanse.” —Psalm 118

So many are calling out. Where do we turn, who will listen, and who will carry this pain? We see you who are marching in peaceful protest to create change. We see you whose livelihood is being crushed by pandemic and unrest on our streets. We see you who are living with trauma, illness, and loss as life unfolds in such uncertain times.

We are all connected in a “living human tapestry,” sang the Israeli poet and songwriter Chava Alberstein. Hazzan Dulkin has recorded this song as a tribute to George Floyd and so many others. As we call out from despair, may our voices be met with the expansive compassion of the Holy One and one another.

Rabbi Harold Kravitz
Rabbi Aaron Weininger
Hazzan Joanna Dulkin
Miranda Weisbuch, Executive Director
Barb Fishman, President