A Statement from Your Jewish Community Relations Council
Your Jewish Community Relations Council will not be silent in the face of injustice. Below you will find an official statement in response to the killing of George Floyd and the systemic racism that is plaguing our country. We know these words are not enough. We are listening, and we will act. Please watch this space in the coming days for opportunities to learn and help.

L'Shalom / Toward Peace,
James Cooper, JCRC Co-Chair
Deb Tedeschi, JCRC Co-Chair
Cheryl Nail, Community Relations Director


“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”
― Elie Wiesel

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
― Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Columbia Jewish Federation and its Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) believe it is our moral and civic obligation to speak up and speak out about systemic racism, white supremacy, and blatant disrespect for the safety, dignity, and human rights of all of our brothers and sisters throughout this great country. We add our voices in unqualified solidarity with the African-American community, especially here in our beloved Columbia. We are horrified and outraged by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. These atrocities are painful reminders of how vulnerable our African-American neighbors are to institutionalized racism and unjustifiable violence.

We stand firm by Dr. King’s, recognition in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” of the “interrelatedness of all communities and states." We agree that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are [all] caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.”

Leaders like Dr. King and Mr. Wiesel have taught us that a failure to protest wrongful behavior is, in effect, a ratification of injustice. We urge our neighbors here in Columbia and throughout South Carolina – people of all religions or no religion, whatever their race, color, or national origin – to join us and peacefully rally against systemic racism. As Jews, we know all too well what it feels like to be victimized because of a single characteristic; we know all too well the grave consequences that befall a community when hatred and bigotry run amok.

Because silence is acceptance, we advocate for non-violent protest to injustice. We pledge to engage in our continued partnerships with the African-American community, state and local law enforcement and elected officials, and all people of good will. We vow to actively promote concrete actions to combat this scourge on our society. We pray for, and will work to achieve, tikkun olam, the repair of our world.

Recording and Handouts from

Talking with Children About RACE & RACISM


Hosted by your Jewish Community Relations Council, a committee of your Columbia Jewish Federation, this discussion led by Rabbi Meir Muller, Ph.D. provided reasons why we need to discuss race with young children, overarching strategies for adults when discussing these issues, and detailed strategies to speak with children. 


View recording of presentation.
Download presentation slides.
Download suggested book list.
Download infographic, "They're Not Too Young to Talk about Race."


The views expressed in opinion pieces are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of your JCRC.

Curated Resources

* #JusticeShabbat - Anti-Defamation League
* Resources to Watch, Read, Listen & Notice from Temple Beth El (Charlotte, NC)
* Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources - American Leadership Forum
* Printable list of Racial Justice Resources - Jewish Miami
* When We Stand Together
resources, courses, books, articles and BIPOC writings
* Black Lives Matter of Netflix - curated documentaries and movies 

Resources for Parents

* PJ Library Resources for talking with kids about racism
* Standing Up to Racism with Sesame Street
* "How do I make sure I'm not raising the next Amy Cooper?" webinar from EmbraceRace
* Additional Resources from EmbraceRace
* #KidLit4BlackLives - featuring Kwame Alexander, Jason Reynolds, and Jacqueline Woodson
* Suggested resources from The Brown Bookshelf


Jewish Perspectives

* ADL's Table Talk: Conversations about Current Events
* My Fellow Jews, Get in the Fight - Jewish Council for Public Affairs 
* The Black Jews Are Tired - Reform Judaism
* Conservative Rabbis Respond to the Murder of George Floyd
* George Floyd and the Healing of America - Chabad
* Statement by the OU - Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations
* Israel and Black Lives Matter - Alma

More Resources

* A Conversation about the Threat of White Supremacy - with Eric Ward of Western States Center
* Implicit Association Test from Project Implicit (Harvard University) to test your bias