Council issues "Message of Faith and Hope" in wake of George Floyd murder

June 4, 2020: The Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations issued today the following "A Message of Faith and Hope" in the wake of the murder of George Floyd:

Once again in our country we are in a moment of turmoil, violence and division. We feel overwhelming pain at the murder of George Floyd and so many African-Americans before him. We are deeply aware of the long history of white supremacy and violence against communities of color.

We write this as an association of Christians and Jews at centers and institutes in the United States and Canada who are dedicated to teaching and promoting mutual understanding between our communities. This work emerged out of the ashes of the Holocaust and in response to the long history of antisemitic violence that was all too often perpetrated and justified by Christians. We stand on the shoulders of individuals of faith and conscience, like Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, whose commitment to social justice and reconciliation encompassed all communities. Heschel understood such engagement as Tikkun Olam—the repair of the world.

Jews and Christians are equally dedicated to social justice, to making our world one of compassion and kindness for all people. We must continually nurture these values if we are to heal the communities where we live and work. Before such healing can begin however we must acknowledge the legitimate anger of those who have been the targets for centuries of violence and injustice, and work however we can to address the sources of hatred and violence. In this sober moment we commit to doing this necessary work within our respective institutions, with our students and our communities.

[pdf version]