The artwork on this note card was created by 5768 WRJ Art Calendar artist Césan d’Ornellas Levine.
A tragedy in the city of Baltimore and the protests and riots that followed have once again refocused national attention on race, class, and unequal treatment under the law. Even as Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced last Friday that charges would be brought against the police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray, RAC staff were en route to nearby Baltimore to stand with our partners in a peaceful protest calling for accountability and reform in law enforcement.
In a statement on behalf of the Reform Movement last week, RAC Director Rabbi Jonah Pesner called for local businesses, clergy, and other community members to repair not only physical structures, but underlying problems in underserved communities, including lack of economic opportunity:
In partnership with communities of color, we must continue to work for structural reforms and systemic changes that will improve race relations in our towns and cities. Reform Jews in Baltimore and nearby communities are joining JCC-led cleanup efforts today, and advocates are also on Capitol Hill meeting with elected officials as part of the Consultation on Conscience. Just last night, amid the violence, Rabbi Andrew Busch, Rabbi Benjamin Sharff, and retired Maryland State Police Captain Heber Watts Jr. spoke with local Jewish youth about positive and constructive opportunities for young people to work together to pursue justice.
These prayers, reflections, and resources can be a guide and inspiration to you for discussing the situation in Baltimore, racial inequality, and the modern civil rights movement in your congregations, communities, or in your own home.