Tzedek, tzedek tirdof (Justice, justice you shall pursue) — Deuteronomy 16:20
As a Jewish organization with a heritage built on an unambivalent call to justice, the PJCC recognizes that we must take a firm stance against the injustice, inequality, and hate that blights our society.
Our Guiding Principles state: “We embrace the diversity of culture, opinion, religion and identity in our community, and we strive to make the Center an accessible space where it feels safe to be oneself.”
We affirm that human rights should be experienced by and preserved for all individuals — here and around the world — and we will work toward building a just and free society, where equality is the reality for all.
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”
~ Elie Wiesel
We are witnessing — and many of us are participating in — a long-overdue national reckoning to address structural racism, unequal application of justice, and a fundamental failure to properly reform policing and incarceration practices. People are raising their voices for justice, even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we join that collective call: The PJCC stands in solidarity with the Black community and with all those demanding an end to racism, violence, and oppression. We support the Constitutional right to peacefully protest the long-standing structural injustices that plague our society.
We are grateful that the PJCC is a place where people of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, sexual orientations and identities, and faiths come together in friendship. We are a wonderfully diverse community that “welcomes all with joy”, creating connections among people and building bridges between communities. And that is not enough.
We must also be positive agents of healing and change. Our recently adopted PJCC Strategic Plan identified this and calls on us to “develop a targeted and sustained social justice campaign focused on building acceptance and understanding and decreasing all forms of hatred.” We began some of this work last year by creating Count Me In, the PJCC’s own social justice initiative. Yet there is still so much work to be done.
It is important to name what this work is about — racism and injustice — and we will not shy away from doing what we can to bring greater justice and healing into our community. As an organization guided by Jewish values and experiences, we are obligated to shelter the stranger and defend the threatened, because not long-ago Jews were both. We therefore pledge to work with civic, faith and political leaders to address racism and injustice in all forms.
This moment is a national call to action and one that will not be easy. How do we heal the heart of America? How do we eradicate racism from our national systems, institutions, and policies? What do we tell our children about the world they are inheriting, in a way that empowers change instead of simply making them frightened, ashamed or discouraged?
We know that we need to turn within and examine our own biases and behaviors. We also need to learn to listen more respectfully and invite education and guidance from people of color within our community, as well as thought leaders across the country. Together as a community we will stand for justice and embrace a culture where we actively work for respect and safety for all. We hope you will join us.
Paul Geduldig, Chief Executive Officer
Heather Cahan, Chair, Board of Directors
If you are not personally free to be yourself in that most important of human activities…
the expression of love… then life loses its meaning.
~ Harvey Milk
Let justice well up like water and righteousness like an everflowing stream.
~ Amos 5:24
The PJCC stands with the LGBTQIA+ community and affirms the rights of all people to live freely, peacefully, and empowered — we celebrate sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression as part of our unique humanness.
The PJCC proudly leans upon five Guiding Principles, which form the pillars of our community: Jewish Life (Chavaya Yehudit); Welcoming All (Hachnasat Or’chim); Our Community of Family & Friends (Kehilla u’Mishpacha); Wholeness of Body, Mind & Spirit (Shleimut); and Repairing the World (Tikkun Olam).