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Dear Gratz Community,
As the president of a longtime, proud partner of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, I completely endorse the Federation’s statement (below) on the killing of George Floyd.
Gratz College has always stood for social justice and equality. We teach about ethics, morality, the Holocaust, genocide, interfaith leadership, education, and the need to combat injustice. As an institution we embrace tikkun olam, the obligation to repair the world. As always, but especially at this moment, we stand in solidarity against racism, hatred, injustice, and abuses of power. We stand with our neighbors in Philadelphia and with our larger Gratz community throughout the United States and the world, in striving for social justice and equality. We remember the words of the prophet Amos: “Let Justice run down like the waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.”
Paul Finkelman, Ph.D.
"Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants Thereof."
The Torah teaches, in these words emblazoned on Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell, that we must stand against bigotry, hatred, and injustice. Belying that aspiration, for generations our country’s Black community has suffered devastating discrimination, from slavery and public lynchings to racial profiling and mass incarceration. The death of George Floyd is only the most recent of far too many Black men and women who have been killed in police custody.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia mourns the loss of his life, and we extend our sincere condolences to Mr. Floyd’s family and to all Americans who are reeling with the pain of this tragedy.
To our Black fellow Philadelphians: We see you. We hear you. We are ready to raise our voices in peaceful protest and to partner with you in building a just society that honors our shared ideals. Now is the time for our city to come together to fight racism and bigotry in all of its forms, and we deplore all violence and vandalism that detracts from the struggle for meaningful change.