Take action with JCJ
Repay America’s debts. Address the traumas of historic racism. Deliver justice, equality, and opportunity to all people in the United States.
Join us as we mobilize Jewish communities and pro-democracy people of faith in support of reparations and investment in communities of color.
What’s the injustice?
In nearly every dimension of American life, people of color remain at a systemic disadvantage.
Most quality of life metrics show deep and abiding disparities between America’s white residents and its residents of color. In health, wealth, and educational achievement Black Americans continue to lag behind other racial groups. Today, the gap between U.S. black and white homeownership rates is larger than it has been in three generations and overwhelming racial disparities exist at every stage of the criminal legal system. The evidence is overwhelming: Black, Latino, and Indigenous Americans are more likely to be poorer and sicker, more likely to be incarcerated and killed by police, and less likely to achieve upward class movement than their white counterparts.
These injustices aren’t an accident, they are by design. Each one points to the legacy of centuries of exclusion, neglect, and disinvestment — born of human bondage, America’s original sin. They exist, explicitly or by default, to keep alive a vicious legacy that has long blocked Black, Latino, Indigenous, and other Americans of color from the blessings of liberty. The author Ta-Nehisi Coates summarizes this painful truth: “America begins in black plunder and white democracy, two features that are not contradictory but complementary.”
What we believe
America must be a true multiracial democracy — and that begins by confronting our past.
Jews marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. in the American South, fought to end apartheid in South Africa, and uplifts the ongoing struggle of people of color for dignity, equality, and liberation — because our community understands that our fate is bound up with that of other marginalized people. We support long overdue efforts to invest in historically-excluded communities, reform lending, policing, and sentencing laws, root out discrimination, increase mobility, and enact reparations for descendants of enslaved people in the United States.
At the federal level, we are engaged with our coalition partners in the fight to pass transformative legislation:
- The Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act, known as H.R.40, which would create a body to investigate the impact of enslavement on current conditions in the United States and develop federal policy to remedy these injustices.
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Connections: Jewish Sources
Why did God create only one person, Adam? All people are descended from a single human being, Adam… so that no one can say, “my ancestor is worthier than yours.” — Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5
Prayer and prejudice cannot dwell in the same heart. Worship without compassion is worse than self-deception; it is an abomination. — Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Insecurity of Freedom: Essays on Human Existence