fbpx Statement Condemning Atlanta Attack | Page 2 | Reconstructing Judaism

Statement Condemning Atlanta Attack

News

Reconstructing Judaism and Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association logos

Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association mourn the devastating loss of life Tuesday in Atlanta, Georgia. Our hearts are filled with sorrow as we learn of the targeting of Asian American women. We stand with Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) members of our Jewish community and with the broader AAPI community in grief and solidarity for those lost: Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Delaina Ashley Yaun Gonzalez, and Paul Andre Michels, along with the slain whose names have not yet been released. We send wishes of refu’ah shlaymah — full and complete healing — to the families of the victims, to all affected by these attacks and to our world.

There has been a staggering increase of hate crimes against Asian Americans since last March, with more than 3,800 cases reported, most of them against women. This has created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation across AAPI communities. We recognize that anti-Asian racism is nothing new in this country. We condemn hate of this kind in no uncertain terms, and look forward to a day when all people, of any background, with any color skin, can work, live and pursue meaningful lives in safety and security, and with self-determination.

We raise our voices in prayer and condolence for the victims of this latest mass-shooting: there have been 3,885 shooting deaths in 2021. We also raise them to call for significant investment in examining and dismantling social structures that lead to racialized and gender-based violence. We must push ourselves to address this terrible scourge in ways that would prevent such tragedies. 

As our hearts are broken again and again by the images and stories of unjustifiable loss of innocent life, the words of the psalmist ring bitterly familiar: “ad matai - how long will this go on?! … How long will you feed your people tears as their daily bread, making them drink great measures of tears?” (Psalm 80:4-5).  May all who have died be held in God’s love. May all who mourn be held in God’s infinite compassion and healing light. May all who are wounded be blessed with a speedy healing. And may the One who created us all lead us to be better than this. 

Please take a moment to consider taking some of these action steps from our friends at @NotFreeToDesist: 

  • Reach out to your AAPI friends and family to let them know you love them.
  • Visit NextShark.com for AAPI related news and follow @nextshark @aapiwomenlead and @goldhouseco on social media.
  • Visit racismiscontagious.com for resources to address anti-Asian violence.
  • Follow the hashtags #StopAsianHate and #HateIsAVirus on social media to keep informed
  • Donate to Stop AAPI Hate stopaapihate.org or contribute to some of the many other organizations that work to support, empower, and protect Asian American communities.
  • Sign up for bystander intervention training. Visit the Asian American Federation website for resources created in collaboration with the Center for Anti-Violence that offers methods to safely exit a threatening situation and strategies for individuals to intervene if they see someone targeted at aafederation.org/aaf-safety-resources/

Related Resources

News and Blogs

Reconstructionist Communities Make Disability Inclusion a Top Priority

With a welcoming ethos and a drive to break down barriers, Reconstructionist congregations and havurot have been part of a revolution that’s taken place in the public awareness of the importance of disability inclusion and related services.

News
News and Blogs

Does The Torah Require Us To Publicize Names Of Sexual Abusers?

What does Judaism teach us about how to respond to accusations of harassment or assault?

News
News and Blogs

Keeping Judaism Alive Behind Prison Walls

Serving Jewish prisoners in state prison, rabbinic students find new perspectives on freedom and responsibility.

News
News and Blogs

Let My People Stay: Jews Demand a Dream Act Now

Eighty-six Jewish activists, including six Reconstructionist rabbis, were arrested in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 17 in a bold act of civil disobedience in solidarity with more than 800,000 Dreamers.

News
News and Blogs

Striving Towards Racial Justice in our Jewish Communities

Reflections on the recent Jewish Social Justice roundtable meeting on racial justice and equity.

News

Strange Thoughts: A New Take on Loving the Stranger

To truly live justly, we need to move out of our comfort zones and embrace unfamiliar ideas and habits of mind. 

Article

Shofar Kavannah for Refugees

This ritual invokes the blast of the shofar to articulate the plight of refugees. It was created for use at High Holidays in response to the presidential travel ban.

Article

Desperate Immigrants: An Ancient Jewish Story

Abraham and Sarah’s desperate journey to Egypt as refugees reminds us that remembering the heart of the stranger is at the core of Jewish experience.

Article

Addressing Race as a Jewish Community

As a time to take responsibility for communal wrongs, Yom Kippur calls us to learn about and grapple with issues of race in America.

Sermon

I Want You to Know I Am Human: Listening to the Stranger Behind Bars

Freedom from bondage frames the Jewish story. How, then, can we fail to listen to those who are now behind bars? 

Article

Hagar: The Immigrant Worker

This provocative Rosh Hashanah sermon draws parallels between Hagar, Sarah’s mistreated servant, and today’s immigrant workers.

Sermon
News and Blogs

Let's Journey Together

In an essay that appeared in Philadelphia’s Jewish Exponent, Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., makes the case that Reconstructionist Judaism matters now more than ever.

News
News and Blogs

The Cornerstone of a Better World

A powerful Reconstructionist message responding to recent acts of anti-Semitism, as well as inspiring examples of the best of humanity.

News
News and Blogs

Light Through The Cracks

Rabbi Deborah Waxman reflects on finding spiritual equilibrium in a time of shifting sands.

News
News and Blogs

Just For A Time Like This

On January 29, 2017, Reconstructionist rabbis and thinkers gathered for a day of learning and study on “Moving Forward in Changing Times.” The gathering offered a range of Jewish approaches to finding spiritual strength as an activist, how to have difficult conversations with those with opposing viewpoints and how to stay sane and grounded in what feels like an avalanche of political change. 

News