“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
—Martin Luther King Jr.

George Floyd.

On May 25, a 46-year-old black man was killed by Minneapolis police officers. Floyd was accused by a grocery clerk of writing a bad check. Officers held him down with their knees to his neck for minutes. The police continued as Floyd lost consciousness and two other policemen watched. Floyd was heard saying “I can’t breathe” several times as bystanders begged the police to let him go but the officers refused.

Breonna Taylor. 

On March 13 in Louisville, Kentucky, a 26-year-old black woman was killed in the middle of the night, in her own home by police. Breonna Taylor was an essential worker helping save lives. Three white officers broke into the wrong apartment, in the wrong neighborhood, looking to arrest a suspect they already had in custody.

Ahmaud Arbery.

On Feb. 23, a 25-year-old black man named Ahmaud Arbery was out for a run near his neighborhood in Brunswick, Georgia, when he was chased, shot and killed by two white men claiming they were making a citizen’s arrest while Arbery was simply going for a run, something most people, including myself, take for granted.

Art by Amanda Lewis for JTI Boston
(Art by Amanda Lewis for JTI Boston)

“Do not stand idly by while your neighbor’s blood is shed.”
—Leviticus 19:16

George, Breonna and Ahmaud are just a few examples of the widespread racism black people face in our nation. The Jewish people have endured injustice and discrimination and have a responsibility to take action for others facing social injustice. The Torah and teachings of God have instilled in the Jewish people that we must stand up for what is right; we cannot watch the injustice and pure racism against our neighbors. For that reason, I urge whoever is reading this to take action. Jewish teens: It is our turn, our time, to do our part in fixing the injustice in our nation.

What can you do?

Spread awareness:

Don’t be afraid to talk with family members or friends about what’s going on and raise awareness. Many people have taken to social media to spread awareness, and if you have a following/platform to post about this topic, I highly recommend doing so.

Support anti-racism organizations:

Consider donating to organizations such as NAACP, Southern Poverty Law Center and BYP100.

Sign petitions to show support and hold people accountable:  

Donate money to the families who have lost loved ones: 

Contact your government officials:

Find your representative and discuss this issue with them so they can create/pass legislation that reflects your beliefs.

Rachel Fredman is a rising senior at Westborough High School. She’s a JTI Peer Inclusion Fellow, is involved with Best Buddies and Rangers for a Cure and enjoys playing field hockey. Rachel is a member of Congregation Beth Tikva and BBYO communities and spends her summers at Camp Young Judaea.

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