Statement on Ferguson and Staten Island grand jury decisions

Like millions of Americans and observers around the world, we are extremely troubled by the recent events in Ferguson, Staten Island, and Cleveland that have illuminated anew longstanding social and racial divides in the United States. We have progressed profoundly as a nation since the days of slavery, but there is clearly much more work to be done to achieve racial justice and full, equal protection under our civil rights laws. The path to healing our societal wounds is not an easy or obvious one, but it is essential.

For many decades, our Jewish community has stood, marched, and fought in solidarity with African-Americans and others seeking justice. Our own history of persecution and justice deferred reminds us of the importance of speaking out and acknowledging the wrongs we see around us. And, indeed, our own Bay Area Jewish community contains a growing number of racially diverse families.

Our community has reached out to leaders in the Bay Area African-American community to signal our commitment to continue to work toward justice and equal protection through relationship building, service, and legislative advocacy.

We, as a nation of many distinct peoples, must continue to work together to live up to the principles of our Constitution until the day that they apply equally to ALL Americans.

Jim Offel
Interim CEO
Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund

Rabbi Doug Kahn
Executive Director
Jewish Community Relations Council

Tom Kasten
Board Chair
Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund

Rosalind Franklin
President, Board of Directors
Jewish Community Relations Council



The Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund connects people of all ages, backgrounds, and perspectives to the power of the Jewish community to improve the world. We partner with donors, organizations, and foundations to address pressing issues facing our community, and develop innovative strategies that result in deep and lasting impact locally, in Israel, and around the world. Learn more at

For immediate release

December 05, 2014


Ilan Kayatsky