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Jewish Clergy Letter in Support of Right to Protest

Over 800 Jewish clergy from across the Jewish spectrum signed the following letter, including over 200 members of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association. Among the signers  are Rabbi Deborah Waxman, president of Reconstructing Judaism; Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism; Rabbi Hara Person, chief executive of the Reform movement’s Central Conference of American Rabbis; and Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal, chief executive of the Conservative Rabbinical Assembly. The Times of Israel reported on the letter on June 11, 2020. 

The text of the letter follows.

As Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel said, to march is to pray with our feet. Throughout American history, the right to protest peacefully has been a hallmark of free expression. In the past week, clergy of all faiths have joined in and supported protests happening in cities nationwide, spurred by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. Like Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Dreasjon “Sean” Reed and too many others to name, Mr. Floyd was a victim of the nation’s long history of brutality against people of color, and particularly Black men. Protests are a just response to all-too-familiar anger, frustration, and pain. I stand for the right to peaceful protest and call on our nation’s law enforcement and elected officials not to interfere with this bedrock First Amendment expression.

The Reconstructionist Network