(Photo credit: "The George Floyd mural outside Cup Foods" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Lorie Shaull)


The Tragic Killing of George Floyd


Last Thursday, May 28, just before the Jewish holiday of Shavuot—the holiday celebrating the receiving of the Torah—the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven shared an open letter with our friends and leaders of the African American community of the Greater New Haven area, and with other faith and community leaders.


In that letter, we expressed our outrage of the killing of Mr. George Floyd, a subdued, handcuffed African American man pleading for help, who was suffocated by former Minneapolis police officers.


One of the first things that the Torah teaches us is that every person is born in the image of God.

 Our hearts break for Mr. Floyd’s family and friends. We also feel devastated for our friends and neighbors in the African American community. We mourn together for this horrible death. Your pain is our pain.


The murders of George Floyd this past week, Breonna Taylor in March and Ahmaud Arbery in February remind us that until we recognize that the image of God is implanted within every human being and how each person is deserving of dignity and respect, our world will remain broken.


We extend our hands as allies in support of the black community. The struggle for justice and anti-discrimination should be a fight for all; it is a struggle over the foundational human commitments as citizens and as a society. We commit to bringing together our communities to combat racism through conversation, advocacy and learning. We stand as allies with all of our local faith and ethnic communities. We encourage efforts by local leadership and law enforcement to implement education, training and policies to advance these ideals. We know that we are each responsible for working to dismantle the systems and structures of racism that exist both locally here and across the United States of America.


We stand in solidarity with our neighbors and encourage our community to have their voices be heard, including through peaceful protest, in an effort to advance our obligation to work toward repairing our community, our country and the world.



Jeffrey Hoos, President, Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven

Judy Alperin, CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven


Betty and Arthur Levy, JCRC Co-Chairs

Eliraz Shifman Berman, JCRC Director





JCRC Open Letter


"Mr. Floyd didn't deserve to die. Jewish tradition teaches us that a loss of one person is a loss of an entire world. We mourn together for this horrible death. The struggle for justice and anti-discrimination should be a fight for all, it is a struggle over the foundational human commitments as citizens and as a society."

Jewish Federations of North America


"We pledge to our brothers and sisters in the black community – and all communities of color – to work together to reverse the systemic racism embedded within our country’s institutions and society in general. 'Our work won’t be easy,' revered civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis reminded us this week, 'nothing worth having ever is.'”


Congresswoman Rosa Delauro


"The murder of George Floyd was unspeakably tragic. The country has rightfully condemned the officer for kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck and back—actions that fly in the face of use of force training and practices police officers are taught. In the aftermath of this tragedy, people in Minneapolis and across the country are angry. We cannot allow trust between law enforcement and our communities to fray beyond repair."

Jewish Council for Public Affairs


"We, the undersigned, are outraged at the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.We stand in solidarity with the black community that have for far too long been targeted by police and have suffered unfair and uneven applications of the law."


“As an organization committed to fighting all forms of hate, we know that this brutal death follows an explosion of racist murders and hate crimes across the U.S. As an agency that has stood for justice and fair treatment to all since our founding in 1913, we know that this has occurred at a time when communities of color have been reeling from the disproportionate health impacts and economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. In short, systemic injustice and inequality calls for systemic change.  Now."

Greater New Haven Board of Rabbis & Cantors

We reach out to individuals of all faiths to work with us in each of our communities to help repair this world by modeling divine attributes of mercy and compassion. As God is merciful, may we be merciful to all those we encounter. As God is gracious, let us offer grace and compassion to lift up both our neighbors and the stranger in our midst. As God is abundant in goodness and in truth, may we find the strength to do good and seek the truth in all our encounters each and every day.

Governor Lamont


"Yet again we're shocked by the video of a black man being killed, in this case George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis. I was particularly shocked that nobody tried to stop it, that nobody yelled 'Stop! Enough!'"


    Contact Eliraz Shifman-Berman, Jewish Community Relations Council Director
    (203) 387-2424 x308 | eshifmanberman@jewishnewhaven.org

    JCRC Co-Chairs: Betty & Arthur Levy