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Conference of Presidents Denounces Racism: Calls for Engagement and Dialogue to Move Forward
On June 3rd, 2020, Arthur Stark, Chairman, William Daroff, CEO, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice Chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, issued the following statement:
“We join our fellow Americans nationwide in mourning the appalling and detestable killing of George Floyd. We are outraged and call for the police officers responsible to be held accountable and brought to justice. This tragedy is one that has occurred all too often.
“American Jews historically have been and will continue to be allies of the African American community and all others in the fight against racism and injustice in the United States. Rabbi Joachim Prinz, an early Chairman of the Conference of Presidents, stood with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the March on Washington in 1963 and was the last speaker before Dr. King gave his famous ‘I Have A Dream’ speech. Many other prominent Jewish leaders, along with thousands of American Jews, were and are actively involved in the civil rights movement.
“Given our history of facing oppression and Jew hatred, which continues to this day, we empathize deeply with the suffering of others and the indignance of prejudice and bigotry. We believe that there are remedial measures that can and must be implemented to help prevent a reoccurrence of this terrible event.
“The First Amendment right to peacefully protest, an American birthright, must be protected. At the same time, we condemn acts of violence and vandalism, and urge respect for the law and those charged to enforce it with justice, most of whom are people of good faith endeavoring to serve and protect our communities. The violence and looting hurt many families and individuals while undermining the sense of security and trust essential to the effective functioning of our society. It must stop.
“We pray for an end to the scourge of racism that led to George Floyd’s death, an end to senseless bigotry, xenophobia, and antisemitism, as well as an end to civil unrest, and a return to mutual engagement, constructive dialogue, and building coalitions. We stand ready, as a community, to help move our country forward.”