Category: 2021

A Shabbat Message from Rabbi Asher Lopatin

Dear Friends of JCRC/AJC,

On this Erev Shabbat, just a week before our Holiday of Freedom, America continues to come to terms with the tragedy of the horrific murders in Atlanta.

In this most difficult time, the Jewish Community Relations Council/American Jewish Committee (JCRC/AJC) of Detroit expresses our support for the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. We declare our revulsion at the increasing violence, discrimination and hatred Asian Americans have had to endure, especially over this past year.  We stand in solidarity with the AAPI community and will work to bring the voices of our associated groups to join as well, including the Coalition for Black and Jewish Unity, Muslim Jewish Advisory Council, Interfaith Immigration Coalition and Michigan Uyghur Alliance. 

Jews from around the world, and those we build relationships with, know what it means to face bigotry, racism, antisemitism and intolerance. Together, we work to make America a place, as George Washington said to the Jewish community of Rhode Island 230 years ago, “to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.” We will not fail our AAPI brothers and sisters. We will remember their needs for protection and respect right along with our own needs and those of our allies.

As Jews all over the world get ready for the Passover holiday, we remember how the ancient Egyptians fell into the cynical spiral of hatred and violence against the Israelites in their midst.  Fear and prejudice poisoned the minds of the Egyptians from Pharaoh all the way down. We will not allow such prejudice and fearmongering to poison American society. We will fight for an America where every member of all our beautiful, diverse communities will feel safe, welcomed and fully part of this great society. We will not let our blessed country fall into the moral abyss of ancient Egypt in the Passover Haggadah.

So, as we enter Shabbat and the week of Passover, we sadly mourn with our Asian American and Pacific Islander brothers and sisters. At the same time, we also hold on to the hope that together we can end the words and actions that divide our society and allow for the most heinous acts of violence to be tolerated. We are stronger than that. We are better than that.

Rabbi Asher Lopatin
Executive Director
JCRC/AJC of Detroit

JCRC/AJC Statement on Iran’s Activities

JCRC/AJC joins organizations throughout the world to condemn Iran and its leaders for continuing to violate international obligations and commitments and, most recently, accelerating its aim to manufacture nuclear weapons by resuming 20 percent uranium enrichment. In a fragrant act of incitement earlier this week, Iran seized a flagged oil tanker belonging to South Korea in the Straits of Hormuz, escalating the already high tension between Iran and many other countries. We all must work diligently to stop Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capacity and from further terrorizing our allies directly or through their proxies such as Hezbollah.

JCRC/AJC Statement on the U.S. Capitol Riots

Friends, our country was sullied yesterday by a vicious attack on our land’s most sacred building, putting those we entrusted with our democratic system at risk by a mob incited by our country’s very own leader. This can never be tolerated, even by nonpartisan organizations like our own.
We condemn the misuse of leadership. We condemn the double standard of enforcement so blatantly displayed yesterday, versus last summer. We condemn those that reject the Constitution and our voting process. We condemn all acts of violence spurred on by hatred and intolerance.
Last night, JCRC/AJC gathered more than 100 clergy and lay leaders of all faiths, and from throughout Michigan, along with Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist and the Coalition for Black and Jewish Unity, to strengthen each other in the face of the horrors that we had witnessed throughout the afternoon of January 6, 2021. In addition, the program was meant to provide comfort to our communities and spread hope for our great American democratic experiment. Click here to access the recording which included diverse prayers and the goodness and passion that is America.

Let us all move forward from this moment as one in strength, love and democracy.