Open Letter by BIJOCSM to Defund the Police

If you identify as a Black Jew, Indigenous Jew, Non-Black Jew of Color, Sephardim or Mizrahim Jew who would like to sign on to our letter, please do so on this form and share widely.

Open Letter by BIJOCSM to Defund the Police

Our beloved Jewish community,

We are Black Jews, Indigenous Jews, non-Black Jews of Color, Sephardim and Mizrahim Jews, (BIJOCSM), and we write to you at a juncture when the centuries-long oppression of Black people in this country, and around the world, can no longer be denied or dismissed.

We write to you at a juncture when simply echoing the calls rising through the clouds of tear gas around the country is not enough: The current uprising led by Black people demands concrete commitments that are significant and long-lasting.

As BIJOSCM, we call on all American Jews to divest from police, and urge that all Jewish institutions, community centers, synagogues and Jewish spaces of prayer end their partnerships with the police. We invite you to work with us to collectively imagine ways to keep each other safe, ways that pose no danger to Black Jews in our shuls or to Black people in our communities and neighborhoods.

The systems of violence and inequality responsible for police brutality are deeply seated in our society, and it will take time and commitment to undo them. We must come together in community to fight the notion that violent policies targeting some communities could somehow create safety for other communities. We must question mainstream Jewish institutions’ alignment with law enforcement. We must also challenge the ties between U.S. Police departments and Israeli police and the Israel Defense Forces – they are inexorably linked, through the exchange of training and oppressive tactics that result in harm to Black people, people of color and immigrants in our own cities, and Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Territories.

More policing and militarization will never make our world safer. The onus is on us to reimagine safety and create a world where the safety of some is not premised on the brutal oppression of others.

As BIJOCSM, we are painfully aware of the rise of antisemitism and white supremacy. We understand the fear of being attacked simply for being who we are – and we still believe in our capacity to show up for each other. We believe that we can work together to ensure that no Jew feels unwelcome or unsafe in any Jewish communal space and especially in Jewish spaces of prayer.

Divesting from police and ending all partnerships with police forces is the bare minimum we can do. It is just one step in a much larger fight against anti-Blackness, racism, antisemitism and white supremacy.

As Jews, we have a responsibility to “repair the world” – and build communities that are just and affirming for Black people, indigenous people, people of color, disabled people, trans people, queer people and immigrants. But to repair the world we must start in our homes. We ask that all communal Jewish institutions, synagogues and Jewish spaces of prayer divest from police and end their partnerships with police and armed forces.

Now more than ever, it is crucial to imagine and develop communal safety alternatives (click here for some examples). It is crucial to listen to and follow the leadership of Black people in the fight to defund the police.

In love and solidarity,

      

Contact: Ari Belathar-Kuolikovsky at belathar@jewishvoiceforpeace

Signatories

Signatures will be updated periodically. All organizational affiliations are listed for identification purposes only.

acala
Adam Green
Adam P Gottlieb
Adi Aboody
Aitan Groener
Alejandro Quryat
Alexis Fernandez
Alfredo Roldán-Flores
Amelia Estrada
Amy Sigle
Angela Wildman
Anna L Ben-Hur
Anna Toledano
Anna-Claire Simpson
Annabel Rabiyah
Ari Belathar-Kuolikovsky
Ariella Amit
Arielle Tonkin
Asaf Calderon
Asher Simon-Plumb
Atenea Rosado-Viurques
Aurelia Melone
Aurora Levins Morales
Avital Aboody
Avital Aboody
Aviva J Galaski
Ayo Engel-Halfkenny
Beverly Shalom
Binya Koatz
Bobbi Lopez
Brisa Camacho-Lovell
Casey Lu Simon-Plumb
Casey Rubenfeld
Cecilia Sena
Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
Connie S Sosnoff
Coral Cohen
Cyril Kuhns
Dahlia Snaiderman
Daniel Lipson
Daniel Oron
Daniela Bernstein
David Almaleck Wolinsky
David Vanunu
Dori Midnight
Dylan (Madeleine) MacWilliams
Eden Berdugo
Eileen Chavez
Elijah Bondar
Elissa Martel
Elliott batTzedek
Elsa Asher
Emilia
Emilia Feldman
Emily Mayer
Emma Youcha
Enzi Tanner
Eran Efrati
Eran Efrati
Erica Taicz-Blandón
Ethan Cohen
Gabbriel Schivone
Gabrielle Garcia
Gavriel Cutipa-Zorn
Grecia Magdaleno
Guy Oron
Hadar Cohen
Hannah Aliza Goldman
Hannah Ross
Hannah Thalenberg
Henri Picciotto
Ilise cohen
Isa Kaufman-Geballe
J. Rafael A-L
Jamie Ehrenpreis
Javier Davila
Jennileen Joseph
Jenny Staats
joana chai-chang azterbaum
Joanna Ware
Joha Mateo Van Osten
Jonathan Matz
Jonathan Mendoza
Jordan Bridges
Julian Gonzalez
Julie Weitz
Kara Lieff
Kat Macias
Katalina Rosalia
Kendra Watkins
Lacey Davis
Leah Varsano
Lesley Williams
Leslie wilson
Liam Davis
liana ka
Lily-Rakia Chandler
lisa ladmer
Liz Cooper
Lola Jusidman Shoshana
Lucia Pizarro
Magali Lerman
Manijeh Moradian
Mar padilla
Marcel Estevez
Mark Tseng-Putterman
Mateo Emanuel Alejandro Rojas
May Ye
Maya Amichai
Maya Edery
Maya Sol Levy
Maya Yair
Mazal Etedgi
Megan
Melissa Nussbaum
Michael Rublin
Michael Zalta
Michael Zalta
Michal David
Mina Aria
Monique G. López
Nadav David
Nat El-Hai
Natalie Bamdad
Nick Wymer-Santiago
Nina Havivi
Niri Halperin
Noah Habeeb
Nohham Cachat-Schilling
Nora Herzog
Oriana Ott
Paula Kahn
Phoenix Singer
Rachel Russell
Rachel Weinberg
Rafael Shimunov
Rebecca María Goldschmidt
Rebekkah Scharf
Rebekkah Scharf
Ricardo Levins Morales
Rico K. C.
Romeo Romero
S. Zaken
Sagie Tvizer
Sam Fleischer
Samantha Gilbert
Sara Goldberg
Sasha Gayle-Schneider
Shirly Bahar
Simha Toledano
Sivan Battat
Sivan Ben-Hayun
Skeeter Sato
Sofia Leos
Sofia Rosenberg
Sophia Simon-Ortiz
Sophie
Sophie Dover
Stephanie Benhaim
Sy Simms
Sydney Levy
Talia kamran
Tallie Ben Daniel
Tamar Sella
Tom Haviv
Tom Pessah
Una Osato
Victor Markhoff
Vivienne Porzsolt
Xava De Cordova
Yael-Sophia Gila Spinoza
Yehonatan Sella
Yumi Tomsha
Zack Chatterjee Shlachter
Zoh Lev Cunningham



WATCH JVP’S STORY

Back in the mid-90s, three young Jewish women realized they could no longer keep silent about Israel’s occupation – and decided to do something about it. Watch their story – our story – here.

Deadly-Exchange-Both-Mockup-Social

GET THE DEADLY EXCHANGE REPORT

Researching the American Israeli Alliance and Jewish Voice for Peace’s report reveals the extent of massive training programs between U.S. law enforcement and Israeli police, military, and the Shin Bet.

End the Deadly Exchange

When US law enforcement trade tactics with the Israeli police and military, Israel deepens its military occupation and the US heightens its violence of policing.

Booking.com: Tell the Truth

Days ago, Booking.com bowed to pro-Israel activists and started describing all of Jerusalem as a “city in Israel” – literally erasing Palestinian East Jerusalem. Let’s get Booking.com to tell the truth: East Jerusalem is occupied territory.

Senators: Investigate Israeli Violence!

No one should be killed for taking part in a peaceful protest. It’s up to us to call on progressive Senators to investigate Israel’s massacre in Gaza that killed over 100 Palestinians wounded 12,000 others.

Huge Palestinian march with text overlaid reading "support the #greatreturnmarch"