Washington DC – Following the shooting at the Emanuel AME Church last night, Ethan Felson, JCPA Senior Vice President and General Counsel, and Susan W. Turnbull, JCPA Board Chair, released the following statement:
“We stand with the people of Charleston, the city’s faith community, and the congregants of the Emanuel AME Church today as they confront the most horrific of acts – the hateful slaughter of nine in a holy sanctuary. Hate crimes attack both individual victims and entire communities. They are meant to isolate and terrorize. We stand in direct contrast: for an inclusive and pluralistic community, one that cherishes life and recognizes that every person is created in the divine image.
This horrible act surfaces the ugly currents of racism that still run deep in our society. We must address them directly and justly. Over the years, the JCPA and our coalition partners have worked diligently to expand the jurisdiction and capacity of the U.S. Department of Justice and law enforcement agencies across the country to fully address these types of instances. We applaud the local and state authorities’ vigorous efforts to capture the suspected perpetrator. We hope that all appropriate resources are marshaled in a unified pursuit of justice. We must clearly and unequivocally demonstrate that hate violence has no place in our society.”
JCPA, the public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community, serves as the national coordinating and advisory body for the 17 national and 125 local agencies comprising the field of Jewish community relations.