Hillel Letter and Statement (George Floyd)
Dear Michigan Hillel Community,
As leaders of Hillel, we want to reach out to our community – dispersed in isolation around this country – to express our deep sorrow and anguish in response to the murder of George Floyd and our sincere commitment to taking anti-racist actions in response.
The recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, and the staggering racial disparities highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic, are painful reminders of the deeply-rooted systemic racism that continues to devastate our country. Police brutality is only one manifestation of the discrimination and inequality the Black community faces today. We walk with all students of color in our Jewish community and the wider campus community whose lives are made more difficult by the destructive consequences of racism. We see you. We hear you. And we believe Black lives matter.
As Jews, we believe that all human beings are created in God’s image, and that every life is sacred. The pursuit of justice is one of our core values, woven throughout the Torah, emphasized by our Sages in the Talmud, and upheld throughout Jewish tradition. Judaism teaches us in many ways that we are responsible to stand against injustice when we see it.
And now more than ever, we cannot stand idly by. On our website, we will be adding resources for continued education and steps for action that students can take to stand against racism. And, in the coming weeks, our leadership is committed to continue to listen to our fellow Wolverines in the Black community and to offer further concrete ways for our community to stand against racism through on-going partnerships, dialogue, and programming. If you would like to get involved with these efforts through Hillel, please reach out to Sarah Pomerantz or fill out this form.
It is our hope that you will join us, as one Hillel community, in committing ourselves to learning more and taking stronger actions as allies to the Black community, including Jews of Color. Our sincere hope is that we will all do our part to build a more just and equitable society through our actions.
The Full Governing Board
Sarah Pomerantz – Chair
Rayut Berkowitz – Internal Relations
Ben Fallick – External Relations
Sam Zuckerberg – Communications
Tori Spector – Finance
Allie Monto – Major Events
Josh Troger – Graduate Student
Olivia Yancey – Graduate Student
Simi Adler – Graduate Student
Karla Goldman – Community Member
Marni Jacobson – Community Member
Jeff Veidlinger – Community Member
Jenny Lewis – Community Member\