March 19, 2021
To The Fort Wayne Community,
We are enraged and saddened by the wave of violence against Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) people in America, including the shootings in Georgia and random street attacks, such as what occurred in San Francisco, also this week. This violence is despicable and must come to an end immediately. However, these violent acts are only the most recent and visible aspect of discrimination against AAPI people in our society. This is a systemic problem rooted in xenophobia, racism and sexism, and heightened by the toxic climate of white nationalism that has racked our country in recent years. The inattention of other people with privilege has allowed this current crisis to spread without enough people speaking up in support of APPI people in America.
As leaders of the Fort Wayne Jewish community, we offer our solidarity to members of the AAPI community, locally and nationally. Jewish tradition commands us to pursue justice whenever we see injustice (Deuteronomy 16:18) and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Leviticus 19:18). Further, our sages taught that “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) There is no room for racism and discrimination in the Creation made by the Eternal One, as we are all members of the same human family.
We call on all people of good will to stand up for the inherent dignity of every human being and to work within their means and their capabilities to stand up against white supremacy, racism and discrimination in all of their forms. Every person has the right to be treated with respect, and to live and prosper in a society without fearing violence. It is up to each of us to do our part to make this so.
Rabbi Meir Bargeron Jaki Schreier
Congregation Achduth Vesholom Executive Director
Jewish Federation of Fort Wayne