by Haya Luftig
JCPA commemorates the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, which gave rise to the largest racial justice movement in the US since the 1960s. JCPA, a leader in the Jewish community on civil rights, mobilized the community relations field to achieve racial justice in our country. We worked hand in hand with our diverse partners to listen, learn, and advocate during the pandemic. Representing the largest Jewish local-national network, we jumped into action.
We listened, learned and pivoted:
JCPA organized numerous webinars and focused its annual conference on racial justice, featuring leaders of diverse Black communities and experts to speak about issues of racial disparities and the impact of racism on people of color, and what role the Jewish community can play to reimagine the communities we live in.
We created a Task Force to address strengthening Jewish communal relations with Black communities, producing a Toolkit for the community relations field (click here for toolkit). The JCPA Board of Directors committed to ensuring the organization and field becomes a more welcoming and inclusive organization, and to engage in anti-racist training. We supported the JCRCs to engage with their local communities.
We took action:
JCPA’s Delegates Assembly convened several times to set priorities, launch a racial justice policy platform, and build consensus policy and strategy for the community relations field.
JCPA’s Criminal Justice Initiative enhanced its advocacy at the state and national levels and convened its national network of Jewish criminal justice experts to ensure a strong Jewish voice on criminal justice. We worked with the Jewish community to support police reform while also being able to maintain security for the Jewish people and institutions.
We joined our allies in advocating for serious police reform, with the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act forming the basis for what needs to be done. We call on the Senate to move swiftly to enact this legislation and on the Administration to implement the new law along with other regulatory steps to bring real reform to our policing system.
We advocated for the No Hate Act and to end hate online. We ensured strong coalitions to advocate against racism, antisemitism, hate and bigotry.
This is a movement not a moment:
JCPA knows our work is not done and our country has a long way to go to end racism and hate, and achieve equity. We are committed to working in partnership and standing with the diverse communities that make up America to shape our country and achieve civil rights. It is only through this work that we can ensure the safety and security for all of us, including the Jewish community.
Today we remember George Floyd, again offer our condolences to his family, and commit to continue the struggle for an end to systemic racism.