Do Not Stand Idly By

Jewish tradition teaches us Lo ta’amod al dam rey-echa, do not stand idly by while your neighbor is bleeding (Lev. 19:16).​  This is a sh’at d’chak, an urgent hour. We need to show up right now, as Jews, in support of justice and real equality for Black and Brown people.

Some Jews are Black and Brown and are always on the front lines of dealing with racism. Some Jews are in the streets. Some are providing logistical and legal support.​ Some of us can help with the critical resource of money. “You shall surely open your hand to your brother [and sister]” (Deut. 15:11)

These 3 funds fulfill Jewish values and meet urgent local needs, and donations to them will directly support people on the ground.

Pikuach nefesh, physical life and safety, is one of Judaism’s highest priorities, and pidyon sh’vuyim, redeeming captives, is a communal obligation. In New York’s Capital District, the central on-the-ground fund for rapid response to ensure the safety of protesters is the Albany Bail & Safety Fund for Black Lives. This fund is managed by Albany racial justice activists Amy Jones and Clyanna Lightbourn of Voix Noire. Donate here: www.paypal.com/pools/c/8pAK2AzvDg​ 

Shleymut (wholeness) is the Jewish word for wellness. There is need of spiritual healing and safe spaces for Black people and others to deal with the traumas of this moment. Root3d is donation-based wellness studio that centers the healing of Black and Brown communities. Learn here: root3dhealing.com/ Donate here: paypal.me/root3dhealing or through Cashapp: $root3dhealing

“Love the immigrant as you love yourself, for your were immigrants in the land of Egypt” (Lev. 19:34) . The community that was hit on Central Avenue over the weekend is made up in large part of Muslim families, many of whom are recent immigrants. Looting affects not only property but people’s livelihoods. Imam Faisal Ahmad, whose father founded Masjid As-Salam (the mosque on Central Avenue), has established a GoFundMe to support the families in greatest need. Donate here: charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/help-rebuild-albany-muslim-community

May we do the holy work of bringing blessing and protection to everyone. May we shine light upon pain that is routinely de-centered, and accompany each other on the long march to justice. May we gaze into each others’ faces and see the divine spark that lives in each of us. And let us say, Amen.