Category: Statements


The Coalition for Black and Jewish Unity exists to speak up against racism and antisemitism and
to promote solidarity between the two communities. The incident at Temple Beth El last Friday- when a man pulled into the parking lot and spewed hateful statements – is a powerful and
painful lesson that our unity isn’t just a helpful antidote – it is absolutely essential to the wellbeing
of our communities and our children’s future.

The hateful man last Friday not only uttered reprehensible antisemitic epithets, but racial ones
as well. This is no surprise to us. It is why Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said “We might have arrived
in different ships, but we’re all in the same boat now.”

As this troubled year comes to an end, we cannot help but feel a bit weary from everything
around us. Our Coalition has been busier than ever fighting racism and antisemitism. Hate
crimes and rhetoric are spiking, sometimes resulting from prominent people who intentionally
ignite the fires of hate.

Our group and others with similar missions are not daunted by these challenges. We have been
strengthened and we will continue to grow stronger. We will never stop shining a light on hate,
educating the community, supporting sensible legislation, and being there for each other –
whether it’s jointly celebrating holidays or simply lending a shoulder to cry on.

We are indeed in the same boat now. We have always known that, but last Friday – right in our
own backyard – we saw the latest example of why we exist and why we will always need to

JCRC/AJC Detroit and JCRC Ann Arbor’s joint statement on threats against Jewish Michigan

Antisemitism reared its ugly head yet again – this time by an individual in Texas, who made
threats against Jewish officials and elected politicians in the state of Michigan. We are grateful
the FBI and other law enforcement authorities worked hard and fast to apprehend the person
who made these threats. Sadly, these kinds of hateful statements and threats of violence are
becoming more commonplace and reinforce the need for us to speak up against antisemitism
and hatred of any kind. We must work together with all our allies and partners to make sure we
look out for each other and create an environment where this kind of behavior is not tolerated.
JCRC/AJC Detroit and JCRC Ann Arbor remain committed, with your help, to building a
respectful, tolerant, and peaceful society. Visit JCRC/ AJC at, JCRC Ann Arbor at

Interfaith institutions release joint statement on the horrific shooting at Michigan State

We were horrified by the news out of East Lansing earlier this week. The deaths of Arielle
Anderson, Brian Fraser, and Alexandria Verner have a left gaping hole in our hearts that cannot
even begin to be filled by thoughts or prayers. Their deaths must be followed by actions that
prevent similar heinous crimes in the future and protect our communities.

Politics aside – we can all agree the status quo is not working. Something must change. Working
with Michigan policy makers – this interfaith group of partners is advocating tirelessly on ways
to implement gun violence prevention measures while protecting Americans right to possess a
firearm. These two ideas are not mutually exclusive.

This nationwide epidemic of mass shootings has yet again reached our own backyard. We call
on the Michigan Legislature to pass legislation that protects our right to live peacefully, without
the epidemic of gun violence that is plaguing our state and our nation.

Jewish Community Relations Council/ AJC
Michigan Muslim Community Council
Hindu Community Relations Council
Coalition for Black and Jewish Unity
Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan
Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan
Interfaith Action of SW Michigan
Bishop David A. Bard, Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church
Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion
Southeast Michigan Synod ELCA
North/west Lower Michigan Synod ELCA
InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit
Detroit Branch NAACP

JCRC/AJC statement on the horrific shooting at Michigan State University

JCRC/AJC is horrified by the news out of East Lansing on Monday evening. The victims’ families
of this tragic and senseless shooting are in our thoughts and prayers. May their memories be a
blessing. We also pray for a speedy recovery for those injured in the attack.
It is every parent’s worst nightmare to receive a text that their child might be in danger. Sadly,
for tens of thousands of MSU parents, that nightmare was real. In these times – we must do
everything we can to protect our children – young and college-aged.
On the very anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Parkland,
Florida, we mourn with all who have experienced this unimaginable tragedy.

Follow Up Statement on Bloomfield Hills High School Incident

JCRC/AJC welcomes Bloomfield Hills Schools Superintendent Pat Watson’s most recent letter regarding
the antisemitic incident at Bloomfield Hills High School. Watson recognized serious mistakes were
made, took ownership of what went wrong and committed to a number of corrective actions which we
feel will be effective in making sure incidents like this will not occur again. We are particularly
encouraged by the district’s commitment to plan and implement staff training to actively identify and
address antisemitism. We’re hopeful this will help build a healthy educational environment free from

This has been a difficult week for students, their families and many of our community members. We
recognize that there is still hurt and anger in the community as a result of this incident. The harm caused
cannot be assuaged solely through words and we look forward to meaningful change.
The JCRC/AJC—along with the Jewish Federation, community rabbis, and the ADL—remains in constant
communication with school and district administration and collectively we are taking steps to make sure
the school follows through on their commitments.

As we head into Shabbat, a time of reflection spent with the people we love, we look forward to a future
with greater understanding, tolerance and respect for our community, as well as for all people.

Statement on Bloomfield Hills High School Assembly

We are horrified that known anti-Israel activist Huwaida Arraf was invited to speak at Bloomfield Hills High School as part of the school’s diversity initiative.

Arraf gave four presentations over the span of the day- increasing her anti-Israel rhetoric and making Jewish students- of which there were many in attendance- extremely uncomfortable.

Some points Arraf made to students in attendance included: Israel is the oppressor, and Israel is an apartheid state.

Throughout her lecture, Arraf also denied Israel’s existence- only referring to the land as Palestine.

JCRC/AJC is also disappointed that Bloomfield Hills High School sent out a letter with no mention of the subjects so many of our community members are hurt by. Neither Jewish nor Israel appeared in the letter. We are in contact with school administrators and looking forward to a constructive dialogue to turn this into a teachable moment.

We are also in contact with area rabbis and ADL Michigan- all of whom are deeply disturbed by this incident.

JCRC/AJC is here for community members who are hurt by this incident. We look forward to a more thorough explanation and an apology from those involved in coordinating and sponsoring this assembly.