Over the past two weeks, we have seen hate once again come to the surface with two mass shootings – one of which greatly affected our friends in the Asian community.
The Jewish community recognizes that there is still much work to be done in order to ensure that ALL people can live safely and in harmony. Through our parent organization, Jewish Federations of North America, we work hand and hand with other communities who are facing danger and persecution. I am very proud to be a part of a national movement that recognizes the importance of this work.
Below is a letter that was sent on behalf of national Jewish community organizations in support of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.
I wish you all a safe and happy Pesach.
March 25, 2021
Dear Majority Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, Speaker Pelosi, and Leader McCarthy:
We join as representatives of Jewish American communal organizations to urge our elected leaders to speak out in solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.
Bias, hate and racism against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have skyrocketed across the country during the COVID-19 crisis. From March 2020 to February 2021 there were approximately 3,800 incidents of hate reported to the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center, likely only a fraction of what the community experienced. The recent massacre in Atlanta that left eight people dead, including six Asian women, was just one horrifying example that has galvanized national attention.
As a community familiar with antisemitism, harassment, hate and scapegoating, we stand in unity with our Asian American and Pacific Islander friends. For the many in our own Jewish communities who are Asian American, this racism and discrimination is personally traumatizing. There is no time to waste, and thus, even as we appreciate Congressional attention to this alarming trend, we believe it is critical for Congress to pass strong bi-partisan legislation to help address hate crimes – against all communities.
We know from research and experience the importance of supporting local communities and providing better tools for federal law enforcement to collect state and local hate crimes data. Localities, in turn, would benefit from federal support to help prevent such crimes and help victims and local communities. That is why we have supported the National Opposition to Hate, Assault, and Threats to Equality (NO HATE) Act in the past, and why we urge Congress to act this year in a bipartisan fashion to pass legislation that provides resources and tools law enforcement needs to protect communities facing such assaults.
You can count on us in the Jewish community to work with you on these efforts. If you would like more information, please contact Darcy Hirsh, Director of Government Affairs at The Jewish Federations of North America at Darcy.Hirsh@Jewishfederations.org, Julie Rayman, the American Jewish Committee’s Senior Director of Policy and Political Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org, and Erin Hustings, Director of Government Relations at the Anti-Defamation League at email@example.com. Thank you for your support and recognition of this critical issue.
American Jewish Committee
B’nai B’rith International
Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc.
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
JCC Association of North America
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Jewish Labor Committee
Jewish Multiracial Network
Jewish Women International
Jewish World Watch
Jews in ALL Hues
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger
National Association of Jewish Legislators
National Council of Jewish Women
Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies
The Jewish Federations of North America
The Workers Circle
Tivnu: Building Justice
Union for Reform Judaism
Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
Zionist Organization of America
To receive Cathy’s WHIM in your inbox each week, click here.