Our Statement to the Community and Solidarity Letter

The past 24 hours have been emotional here in Charleston.

Yesterday, we saw community members of all races come together to demand social proress and criminal justice reform to address systemic racism that has affected our communities for 350 years. Record numbers turned up, and community members including Police Chief Reynolds were moved by the turnout.

This morning, we awoke to widespread damage to downtown businesses, including those owned by members of our own Jewish community. What has already been a difficult time, has only been made harder as business owners must now pick up the pieces of their storefronts. We offer you our full support in recovering from this riot.

While no one supports violence of any form or the destruction of private property, we also must not waver from addressing the continuing issues that inspired yesterday's protests. Here in Charleston, our community bore witness to the Mother Emanuel Massacre and the shooting of unarmed Walter Scott by North Charleston Police officer Michael Slager. These played out within the same year. 

We must commend local law enforcement on the progress that has been made within their departments, while also demanding, in solidarity with Charleston's black community, that progress continue as we all seek to address systemic racism in our criminal justice system across the United States, and the immense racial disparities facing the black community here in Charleston County. We stand arm in arm, and your outrage is our outrage.

As a Jewish organization our work is both to support the Jewish community and seek to create a more just world for our neighbors, our children and ourselves. We intend to continue to do both in these difficult days.
We Stand With the Jewish Council for Public Affairs' Statement of Solidarity with the Black Community:
We stand in solidarity with the black community that have for far too long been targeted by police and have suffered rampant racism and unfair and uneven applications of the law.

We call upon our government and law enforcement at the national and local levels to fully investigate and hold accountable all the involved officers and to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.

We call upon our government and law enforcement agencies at every level to institute sweeping reforms in law enforcement and criminal justice.

We pledge to join forces with the black community and other Americans to see through these changes to law enforcement, end systemic racism, and work for a more just American society.