STATEMENT OF THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF GREATER HARRISBURG, THE COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCIL OF THE FEDERATION, AND THE RABBINIC COUNCIL OF GREATER HARRISBURG
The Jewish Community of the Harrisburg area, represented by the Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg, Community Relations Council of the Federation, and the Rabbinic Council of Greater Harrisburg, is shocked and horrified by the senseless, brutal murder of Mr. George Floyd of Minneapolis on Monday, May 25. Exodus 20:13 simply states as the Fifth Commandment: “You shall not murder.” All religious traditions of our society teach this simple but powerful message. We learn this as children. Why is it so hard for us to understand and apply this lesson in the 21st century?
We grieve with the family and friends of Mr. Floyd for this shocking incident and we stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with African-Americans in expressing our outrage at this example of police brutality. Your loss is our loss. Although a vast country of continental proportion, America has no room for the torture, murder, and barbarism that we have witnessed in Minneapolis. All people of conscience, no matter their religion, politics, color, or background must condemn murder and we unequivocally do!
We are angered that African-Americans and other Americans of color continue to experience discrimination and inequality and are treated unjustly. We are saddened that when they react to these inequities with legitimate, peaceful expressions of protest, their efforts are marred by counterproductive acts of violence that undermine the overall efforts of freedom and equality.
We plead for calm even as we urge our public leaders to engage in constructive dialogues and actions to build stronger relationships and deeper understanding among all of us as a path to a more just and equitable society.