In Leviticus, the Torah tells us, “Do not stand idly by when your neighbor’s blood is shed.”  The Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton denounces the senseless death of Mr. George Floyd last week in Minneapolis. His murder is the most recent example of systemic and institutional racism.  Too often, the color of skin determines health outcomes, economic outcomes, educational attainment, police brutality, incarceration, and so much more.  Today, Black Americans are dying of coronavirus at a rate higher than any other racial group, Black American men are incarcerated at five times the rate as White American men,  Black American women lose their babies at more than twice the rate as White American women, Black American women die from childbirth at more than three times the rate as White American women, and White American men are accused of mass shootings at three times the rate as Black American men.  “Do not stand idly by.”

Systemic racism, comparable to antisemitism in America, spreads with passivity. If we are not educating ourselves, advocating for change, and acting together as a community, then we are part of the problem.  Systemic and institutional racism and antisemitism is about privilege and power.  We cannot be bystanders. As members of the Jewish community, we know personally and painfully the vulnerabilities and threats of hate. “We cannot stand idly by.”

The JCRC is committed to educating, advocating and taking action to “repair our world.”  We join the YWCA as an ambassador for their Summer 21 Day Challenge beginning on June 19 through July 9.  For those that participate in this challenge, JCRC has scheduled three community conversations that will take place during the Challenge and shortly after.  Join us as we learn together, advocate together, and act together to be agents of change in dismantling hate.

We join all who mourn the loss of Mr. Floyd’s life and of so many others who died by the hands of those that work in a system that is broken. May all their lives and memories be for a blessing.  Together we will “repair our world.”

For further information about the JCRC and the YWCA’s 21 Day Challenge see our website at

Marcy L. Paul, PhD
JCRC Director

Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton

Cathy Gardner
Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton



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