This statement was recommended by the Kol Ami Social Action Committee for consideration by the Kol Ami Board of Directors at the June Board meeting. The statement was adopted unanimously by the Board of Directors on June 18, 2020.
Dear Kol Ami Community,
In the wake of the dramatic protests against injustice, the Kol Ami Social Action Committee, Board, and staff would like to share with you our call to action and the values and principles which guide us.
Values and Principles
Kol Ami’s mission states, “We passionately affirm the dignity and rights of all human beings. We view it as our sacred obligation to pursue justice and repair the world.”
Parashat Shoftim commands us Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof - Justice, justice you shall pursue. It is one of the most commonly cited passages in the book of Deuteronomy. Parshat Shoftim also commands U’Viarta HaRa mi’Kirbekha - You shall purge the evil from your midst.
In the Talmud, we learn that all people are descendants from a single person so that no person can say, my ancestor is greater than yours. God created humanity from the four corners of the earth - yellow clay, and white sand, black loam, and red soil. Therefore, the earth can declare to no part of humanity that it does not belong here, that this soil is not their rightful home.
Call to Action
In the face of the recent killing of George Floyd and so many persons of color before him, we cannot carry on with “business as usual." It is up to each of us, and all of us together, to express our solidarity and our support for the eradication of systemic racism.
Silence communicates acquiescence. Instead, we will raise our voices to challenge the denial of human rights and basic decency and call for the imperative for structural change. You are not alone. Black Lives Matter.
It is simply not enough to make statements. We must work to significantly change our own systems, institutions, and attitudes. As a community, we must work toward the positive changes sought by the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
The Kol Ami Social Action Committee, Board members, and staff commit to promoting racial healing and equity in the community through education, partnerships, outreach, and direct action. As we learn, we will take an ongoing inventory of our programs and communication systems in order to identify and eliminate racism and bias within our Kol Ami community. Through social action, we will support change and accountability in the systems that perpetuate bias not just at Kol Ami, but in our state, nation, and global community.
Kol Ami Social Action Committee, Kol Ami Board of Directors, and Staff