June 5, 2020

If Not Now, When?: JSS Confronts Systemic Racism

Rabbi Renee Bauer

“How long will this go on?… You feed your people tears as their daily bread, making them drink great measures of tears?” (Psalm 80:5-6). 

This has been quite a week in our city and country. Suddenly the streets that were emptied by a global pandemic have been filled with chants, righteous anger and indignation. Protests that began in response to the murder of George Floyd are about so much more. They are about a broken police system and systemic racism and about the despair of living through a pandemic that is disproportionately taking the lives of black Americans and leaving millions of people unemployed. The words of the psalmists ring true for me as I despair about the racial injustice that exists in our city and our country.  

Back in January, JSS began addressing diversity, equity and inclusion as part of our strategic planning. We are now working with the plan and finding opportunities to be effective in addressing the current unrest and systemic racism in the long term.

The JSS staff is keenly aware that there are also immediate needs. Our community is in crisis as the civil unrest occurs during a global pandemic that has upended our lives. These events affect each of us differently depending on our race and life experience. They have taken a significant emotional and spiritual toll on each of us. JSS is here to support you- to listen, to find resources, provide material support and case management services. Please do not hesitate to reach out.