CCAR Condemns Attack on South Carolina Church

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) is shocked and horrified to learn of the tragic murders at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.   As clergy whose job it is to gather people in the study of sacred scripture, we are appalled that the desecration of nine human lives could occur in such a holy setting.  Our sympathies extend to all the victims, and especially to our partner in clergy, Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney.

Earlier in same day that this hate crime was perpetrated, our leadership had gathered for a board meeting during which we passed our resolution affirming our commitment to work for Racial Equality.  In the aftermath of the events in Charleston--and on top of the injustices in Ferguson, Staten Island, Cleveland, Baltimore, and beyond-- we are even more fully dedicated to the work of that resolution, including "making racial justice a top priority for our Conference in the coming year." 

The CCAR has long recognized that racism and economic injustice perpetuate disparities in American life, and are injustices in themselves that contribute to an unjust criminal justice system.  On topics ranging from economic justice to voting rights, from disparities in educational opportunity to formal and informal residential segregation, we have lifted up the prophetic voice in our resolutions, calling for Tikkun Olam, for a repair of our too-often broken American society.  In this coming year, we doubly dedicate our entire conference to working to solve the massive injustices of race in America.

### 

The Central Conference of American Rabbis strengthens the Jewish community by providing religious, spiritual, ethical and intellectual leadership and wisdom.  CCAR serves as a facilitator of debate, discussion, and action on important spiritual, social, cultural and human rights issues. Since 1889, CCAR has been the center for lifelong rabbinic learning, professional development, and publishing for the 2,300 rabbis who serve more than 1.5 million Reform Jews throughout North America, Israel and the world.