A Letter from CEO Michael Hopkins
Jewish Family Service stands in solidarity with the African American/Black community as we process the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. These are just the latest names—the news and social media are filled with countless more. Racism persists, overtly and covertly, every day whether covered by the media or not. This is a heartbreaking reality still lived by too many of our neighbors.
Together, we must build a stronger community rooted in equity and justice.
Yesterday morning at JFS, we started with a Zoom gathering for all members of our team to come together to share our anger, frustration, fears, reflections, sadness, hopelessness, and hope in a safe place. Many of us are hurting and struggling. It was important to listen and learn from each other.
This is what we learned.
We need to speak out loudly and clearly against injustice and racism.
We need to listen.
We need to examine our own implicit biases.
We need to show humanity for each other, be there for each other, and continue our work toward justice.
Together, we have so much work to do, as individuals, as a community, as a region, and as a country. It starts with each of us and our families. And then, it requires a persistent commitment to action.
Silence is not an option.
I’m reminded of Elie Wiesel’s important words:
We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.
Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
As a Jewish community, we have a history of seeking tzedek- justice. We marched side-by-side in the 60s as part of the Civil Rights Movement. Today, we must continue to march holding each other as if our future and lives depend on it. They do.
Moving Forward Together,
Michael Hopkins, CEO