As a sign of support for the Black Lives Matter movement, some 400 Jewish organizations and synagogues around the nation signed and circulated a letter stating, “We speak with one voice when we say, unequivocally: Black Lives Matter.”
The letter includes signers from the Greater Phoenix community.
“This is proudly signed by me,” Rabbi John Linder, senior rabbi of Temple Solel, wrote in an email. Linder also noted fellow local signers, Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Phoenix and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Phoenix, among others. “That’s all good company to keep,” he wrote.
Many of the synagogues listed as signers don’t specify a location as was the case with Temple Solel, which Linder noted with disappointment. There are multiple synagogues of the same name with no location identifying them.
BLM, a movement created in 2013 in the wake of incidents of police brutality against African Americans, has gained public momentum since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody and the protests across the nation that followed and are still ongoing.
The letter signed by various synagogues and Jewish clergy “across the racial and political spectrum” describes BLM as a “Black-led movement in this country that is calling for accountability and transparency from the government and law enforcement.”
It describes a history of politicians attempting to sow fear and division of people seeking justice and equality by pointing fingers and scapegoating people — Jews in particular.
“As Jews, we know how dangerous this is: when politicians target Jewish people and blame us for problems, it leads directly to violence against us. When Black movements are undermined, it leads to more violence against Black people, including Black Jews.”
The letter equates BLM with the civil rights movement of the 1960s and states that BLM “is our best chance at equity and justice.” JN
To read the letter in full, go to: medium.com/@jewishorgssayblacklivesmatter