This year, Juneteenth coincides with Shabbat, and the Jewish Multiracial Network is asking us to recite the Kaddish for Black Lives in remembrance of the countless Black people we have lost to racist violence and policy.
Creator of life, source of compassion. Your breath remains the source of our spirit, even as too many of us cry out that we cannot breathe. Lovingly created in your image, the color of our bodies has imperiled our lives.
Black lives are commodified yet devalued, imitated but feared, exhibited but not seen.
Black lives have been pursued by hatred, abandoned by indifference and betrayed by complacency.
Black lives have been lost to the violence of the vigilante, the cruelty of the marketplace and the silence of the comfortable.
We understand that Black lives are sacred, inherently valuable, and irreplaceable.
We know that to oppress the body of the human is to break the heart of the divine.
We yearn for the day when the bent will stand straight.
We pray that the hearts of our country will soften to the pain endured for centuries.
We will do the work to bind up the wounds, to heal the shattered hearts, to break the yoke of oppression.
As the beauty of the heavens is revealed to us each day, may each day reveal to us the beauty of our common humanity. Amen.
As the Talmud teaches us, "Whoever destroys a single life, it is as if they destroyed an entire world." The violence of white supremacy is never singular – the systemic racism that allows Black people to be murdered with impunity is destroying our whole world.
We can, however, build new worlds, and Carolina Jews for Justice stands in solidarity with the Black leaders – within our Jewish community and beyond – who are actively fighting for and constructing that future. Please join us.
- National: Sign onto the Poor People's Campaign's "Open Letter to Our Nations’ Lawmakers on Systemic Racism"
- Statewide: Text NCSPAN to 22999 for updates from the NC Statewide Police Accountability Network on actions popping up around the state.
- Commit to taking action with Raleigh PACT on pushing the Raleigh City Council on the demands below.
- Text JUSTICE to 864237 to receive rapid response updates from Raleigh PACT
- Join the Racial Justice Coalition's Advocacy Team to receive local actions you can take for anti-racist policy change on the local level.
- Sign up to received updates and action alerts from Black AVL Demands.
- Our friends at Malaprop's Bookstore compiled this excellent list of community resources and initiatives.
- Download the "Asheville Green Book" from Hood Huggers International for a history of Black Asheville, and a listing of local Black entrepreneurs.
- Durham: Sign the BYP100 Petition to the Durham District Attorney, Durham Police Department & Durham County Sheriff's Department
- Greensboro: Sign up to get involved within the Greensboro Uprising. Sign on to their demands here.
- Fayetteville: Sign the Fayetteville PACT Petition to demand Police Oversight Boards for FPD and Cumberland County Sheriff's Department.
Share Resources with Black led organizations in North Carolina:
- Poor People's Campaign
- NC Statewide Police Accountability Network
- Raleigh PACT
- Emancipate NC
Commentary on current events (from Black authors)
- Listen to "Jews Talk Racial Justice," a new podcast featuring April Baskins and Tracie Guy-Decker
- Watch the recording of the Movement for Black Lives National Call in Defense of Black Life and plug into #DefundPolice work where you live and are building.
- Read "Don’t understand the protests? What you’re seeing is people pushed to the edge," by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
- Read "Authoritarian State or Inclusive Democracy? 21 Things We Can Do Right Now," by Eric Ward
- Read "The Black Jews Are Tired," by Chris Harrison
- Read "‘Believe us’: Black Jews respond to the George Floyd protests, in their own words" from the JTA
Resources for white allies
- Check out Ibram X. Kendi’s antiracist reading list
- Watch 13th by Ava DuVernay for free on YouTube. This documentary examines the U.S. prison system, and looks at how the U.S.'s history of racial inequality drives the high rate of incarceration in America.
- Read "5 Ways White People Can Take Action in Response to White and State-Sanctioned Violence" from Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)
- Read "10 Steps to Non-Optical Allyship" from Mereille Charper
Resources for Jewish institutions
- Connect with Be'chol Lashon, Dimensions Educational Consulting, Jewish Multiracial Network, Jews of Color Field Building Initiative, and other organizations elevating and centering Jews of Color.
- Check out "Ways Your Congregation Can Act Now for Racial Justice" from the Union for Reform Judaism
- Check out "What White Jewish-led Institutions Can Do for Racial Justice Now" by Jonah Boyarin
- Learn about "Defund the Police" with this reading list from Bend the Arc
- Make use of the "Racial Justice Framework and Guiding Principles" created by the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable
- Political education resources from CJJ Board Member Dove Kent
- Twitter thread by Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (plus Rabbi Danya's recommended reading)
- If you are a Jewish institution trying to figure out what education or action is right for your members in this moment, we are happy to help. Please contact CJJ Statewide Organizer Brandon at [email protected] for support.