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Jewish Response to the Tragedy in Charleston

Dr. Richard Krugel, President of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Metropolitan Detroit, issued the following statement:

“The Jewish Community Relations Council of Metropolitan Detroit is profoundly saddened and outraged by last night’s craven attack that killed nine people in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Murdering people at prayer in a house of worship is especially heinous and cowardly. While the police investigation will focus on the shooter and his motive, we will struggle – especially with our Black friends and neighbors in metro Detroit – to understand what we can do in our own community to confront the racism that divides us and too often leads to violence and injustice. Our thoughts and prayers are with Emanuel AME Church, members of the AME Church nationwide, the African American community and the citizens of Charleston as they mourn the victims of this tragic crime.”

Statement of InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit in response to the murders in Charleston, South Carolina:

African American and Jewish friendship is the antidote to hatred and fear. Synagogue and African American Church pray together in solidarity against a common threat.

A tragedy happened in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17 that has the power to terrorize all African Americans. The historian Edward Ball noted in the New York Times today that these historic black churches are "tethered to the deep unconscious of the black community."

Like the reaction of Jews recently after the murders in Paris, today African Americans are again feeling their vulnerability to hate and violence. It is a sense of lurking danger that they share with their Jewish brothers and sisters. Both communities are all too often the targets of hatred and violence. Combatting this hate is a common cause for both Jews and African Americans.

On Friday evening, June 19, and again on Sunday morning, June 21, Jews and African Americans will come together as people of faith and as friends to express their common sense of horror at the violence so often directed at each of them. Friday, Temple Beth El, the oldest Jewish Congregation in Michigan, and Greater New Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, where civil rights leader and long time executive director of the NAACP, Reverend Benjamin Hooks, had preached for years, will share their weekend services with each other. At the 7 p.m. Friday night Shabbat service at Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Hills, Rabbi Mark Miller will open his pulpit to Pastor Kenneth J. Flowers of Greater New Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, who will preach on their common need to combat hate, racism and anti-Semitism together. Then again at 10 a.m. on Sunday morning at Greater New Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit, Pastor Flowers will invite Rabbi Miller into his pulpit where Rabbi Miller will offer special remarks on the responsibility of Jews and African Americans to combat hate, racism and anti-Semitism. Hand in hand these two prominent congregations lead by their pastor and rabbi will strengthen the bonds of friendship and pledge practical action to lead their congregations in combatting hate.

Both faith leaders have been active in the InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit (IFLC). The Council has helped to organize this important congregational interchange and is encouraging other faith groupsto also show their solidarity with the African American community during this time of great sorrow and heightened fear. According to IFLC Chairman, Bob Bruttell, "We may not be able to turn our tears into dancing at this time, but faith and friendship are a powerful antidote to hatred and fear. The example of these two congregations is a model for how to build solidarity in the face of alarming malice."

Job Opportunity: Executive Director, JCRC

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Metropolitan Detroit (JCRC) is seeking a talented and experienced Executive Director to lead the agency to the next level as it implements its new strategic plan. For more information and to apply, click here


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News, Op-Eds and Other Resources

Updated regularly

Detroit area clergy join hands, hearts for healing

by Elisha Anderson in the Detroit Free Press

They stood side by side in a Detroit church Sunday morning in love and solidarity. Jews and African Americans — from Temple Beth El and Greater New Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church — held hands and sang, brought together after nine African Americans were killed in a church in Charleston, S.C., by a white man who allegedly shouted racial epithets. Read full story 

Metro Detroit faithful "stand together in solidarity"

by Mike Martindale in The Detroit News

Services at Greater New Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church were slightly different Sunday.... Joining in prayers at Mount Moriah were Rabbi Mark Miller and several dozen members of his Temple Beth El of Bloomfield Hills, who traveled to the Detroit church, founded in 1925, to show their support. On Friday, the Rev. Kenneth James Flowers of Mount Moriah and several members of his congregation took part in Sabbath services at Temple Beth El, the oldest Jewish congregation in Detroit. Read full story 

UN Report on Gaza: Improvement over Goldstone, but NGO Reliance Hurts Credibility

by NGO Monitor

The report of the Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza War is different both substantially and methodologically than its predecessors, including the 2009 Goldstone Report, according to NGO Monitor. However, it still quotes extensively from biased and unreliable political advocacy NGOs. By repeating the unverified and non-expert factual and legal allegations of groups such as Amnesty International, B'Tselem, Palestinian Center for Human Rights, and Al Mezan, the UN investigation is irrevocably tarnished. Read full story  

Campus Debates on Israel Drive a Wedge Between Jews and Minorities

by Jennifer Medina and Tamar Lewin in The New York Times

The debates can stretch from dusk to dawn, punctuated by tearful speeches and forceful shouting matches, with accusations of racism, colonialism and anti-Semitism. At dozens of college campuses across the country, student government councils are embracing resolutions calling on their administrations to divest from companies that enable what they see as Israel's mistreatment of Palestinians. Read full story 

Nuclear deal could help Iran fund cyber war

by Cory Bennett in The Hill

A diplomatic deal with Iran to limit its nuclear program could inadvertently jumpstart the country's cyber warfare efforts. Experts say Tehran might use the economic sanctions relief from the nuclear pact to buttress its growing cyber program, which has already infiltrated critical networks in over a dozen countries, including the U.S. Read full story 

Is It Time for the Jews to Leave Europe?

by Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic

For half a century, memories of the Holocaust limited anti-Semitism on the Continent. That period has ended—the recent fatal attacks in Paris and Copenhagen are merely the latest examples of rising violence against Jews. Renewed vitriol among

Are Republicans dropping battle to repeal Affordable Care Act?

by Noam M. Levy in The Los Angeles Times

After five years and more than 50 votes in Congress, the Republican campaign to repeal the Affordable Care Act is essentially over. Republican congressional leaders, unable to roll back the law while President Barack Obama remains in office and unwilling to again threaten a government shutdown to pressure him, are focused on other issues, including trade and tax reform. Read full story

Study: Over half of U.S. Jewish college students have encountered anti-Semitism

by JTA

More than half of current American Jewish college students have personally witnessed or experienced an anti-Semitic incident, according to a new study. Read full story  

Donate Now

This tragedy that left 9 people dead and a whole community affected made it clear that as Jews we must stand unite in solidarity with the community at large and take a stand on hate crimes. Click here to donate

In Iran nuclear deal, there's no room for compromise

Op-ed in Detroit Free Press by JCRC President Dr. Richard Krugel:

A nuclear-capable Iran would be a grave threat to the security of the U.S. and our allies, and would further destabilize the Middle East and South Asia. The effort to prevent a state sponsor of terrorism from nearing this capability is of the gravest importance.  Read full story 

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