June 4, 2020

Dear Students of the Center for Jewish Civilization,

We are writing to express our deepest sympathy to those affected by the tragedies and losses of these past few months. We wanted to reach out to you to convey our shock, concern, and anger at the murder of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd, the continued brutalization of our brothers and sisters, and the abhorrent actions of our current national leadership. We feel no need to couch this notice in cautious tones, institutional cadences, and empty platitudes. The situation is unacceptable, has been unacceptable, and will never change unless every one of us devotes our thoughts and actions to bringing about structural change.

We stand in solidarity with the Black community in the ongoing fight against injustice. As an academic center, we need to use our privilege to educate ourselves on the continued threat of systemic oppression and its tolerance of police brutality. To this end, we need to recognize and confront racism, not only in our community, but within ourselves. And we need to share this knowledge, and the process through which we attained it, with our students.

Since our founding, we have taught students about Jewish Civilization’s role in the global community. We have dedicated ourselves to putting our undergraduates first, and aspired to learn from their diverse experiences. Our Center exposes explicit and implicit forms of antisemitism, and their culmination into crimes of hatred. But we strive to take this one step further. By drawing parallels between biases, prejudices, and ideologies, we challenge our students to monitor and combat all forms of hatred.

Please remember that the CJC’s faculty members and administrators are always available as a resource. For your reference, we have linked additional programs and services offered by Georgetown affiliate programs. Please also note that Georgetown Jewish Life and the Jewish Student Association will be hosting a moderated conversation, “Let’s Talk Racial Justice,” today at 9 PM EDT. Rabbi Rachel Gartner will moderate the discussion, and you can find out more about the event by emailing jewishlife@georgetown.edu.

This is not a moment, but a movement. We must commit all of our efforts, as we embark upon another effort to repair a broken world.

Yours in solidarity,

Professor Jacques Berlinerblau, Director, CJC

Professor Bruce Hoffman, Incoming Director, CJC

Professor Anna Sommer, Associate Director, CJC 

Professor Jessica Roda, Assistant Director, CJC

Jocelyn Flores, Program Coordinator, CJC

Brittany Fried, Center Manager, CJC

Bethania Michael, Research Specialist & Signature Events Coordinator, CJC