Our tradition teaches us that we may not “stand idly by the blood of our neighbors.” Now is the moment for action; standing idly by will not suffice.
We cannot see the murder of George Floyd and stand indifferent to his cries, nor to that of so many Black Americans and people of color. For too long, we have seen the destructive consequences of racism — on college campuses, in our cities, and in our own communities. As a people that has known and fought oppression for generations, we have an obligation to speak out and take action whenever people are being targeted for who they are or what they believe. We speak out today because Black Americans continue to endure systemic racism and police brutality in our world and because we believe Black lives matter.
Hillel International, our students and our communities stand as allies with the Black community and all who are fighting racism and bigotry in our world today. We walk with the thousands of Black Jewish students and students of color whose lives are made more difficult by intolerance and prejudice.
Hillel has long been working on these issues, but we still have much to learn and more to do. We are building community through relationships with Black student organizations on campus, facilitating conversations through our national Black-Jewish student summits and lifting up the voices of Black Jews within our communities. In the coming weeks, we will continue to listen to our colleagues and friends in the Black community and offer further concrete ways for our students to stand against racism, including professional training, educational resources for students, and programming through our Hillel@Home platform.
During this difficult time, though the doors of many of our campus Hillels are closed, the hearts of our students, professionals and community members are open and ready to act. We encourage Jewish students and community members across the country and around the world to be true allies to the Black community in this difficult moment - to grieve and pray together, to advocate, and to find new, peaceful and powerful ways to make our voices heard and our impact felt.