The Current Crisis

Jewish Social Justice Network


By the Jewish Social Justice Network

New York — The national Jewish Social Justice Network (JSJN) joins with our fellow Americans and all people of good will in condemning the horrifying terrorism of September 11, 2001, which killed thousands, shattered countless families and destroyed essential services, businesses and government offices in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania.

We are grieving and stunned alongside our neighbors across the country. Our deepest condolences and prayers go out to all those who have suffered losses, and those still waiting to hear about the fate of their loved ones. We hope that more survivors will be recovered and that no further rescue workers will be injured in their heroic efforts to save lives. The scores of emergency and rescue workers, volunteers and charitable agencies deserve our highest praise for their tireless efforts. They are helping to move our nation to a place of healing.

In the aftermath of these tragedies, we affirm our opposition to the hate, bigotry and violence that tears at the fabric of our society. We are outraged at the increasing violence and harassment against Arab, Muslim and Asian American individuals and institutions across the U.S. that has occurred since September 11. Murders, beatings, threats and organized demonstrations of hate against Arabs, Muslims and Asians have already occurred in Philadelphia, Chicago, Texas, New York and elsewhere. Such attacks must not be tolerated.

Bigotry and violence directed at any ethnic, racial, immigrant or religious group is a threat to us all. We offer our solidarity with Arab, Muslim and Asian communities here, and offer them our support. Our Jewish history and traditions teach us to love peace, to protect strangers as our own, and to heal and repair the world. Endangering the lives of men, women, children and community institutions of our Arab, Muslim and Asian neighbors is in direct contradiction to these teachings.

We applaud the federal, state and local governmental officials and agencies that have denounced the racial targeting and violence against Arabs, Muslims and Asians. We call on other officials and community leaders to do so, and for the marshalling of appropriate resources to protect Arab, Muslim and Asian communities against such dangers. We call on all members of the Jewish community to stand up against harassment and violence against Arabs, Muslims and Asians wherever it occurs, and to extend our community's support to our neighbors.

We are also very concerned by potential threats to Americans' basic civil liberties and freedoms in the U.S. in the days ahead. Rights to free speech, free assembly or due process must not be jeopardized in the name of national security or the fight against terrorism. American democratic principles and legal protections cannot be compromised even during these very difficult days.

The JSJN is a national network of local Jewish organizations working on domestic social justice issues. The JSJN was formed in 2000, i,ncubated at the Jewish Fund for Justice in New York City. See