The Jewish Community Relations Council/AJC stands in solidarity and partnership with the African American community, decrying the horrific murder of George Floyd and the racism that tragically still engulfs our nation and even permeates so many of our police forces. We pledge to work with the religious, civic and political leaders in the African American community who are working to bring a peaceful, but forceful, message of protest, truth and hope, not only in their own community, but to all Americans. There is no place for racism, discrimination, antisemitism or hatred in our country. George Floyd’s death, and the unjust deaths of so many other African Americans, tell us that racism still exists, but we know that if we work together, in peaceful, even loving protest, we will overcome and will prevail. We are all choked by racism, we all cannot breathe with racist hate, and we will never stop until it is eliminated from our society.
September 17, 2019 – Jewish Community Relations Council/AJC (JCRC/AJC) has named Rabbi Asher Lopatin its new executive director effective immediately. The announcement was made by Board President Alicia B. Chandler.
Rabbi Asher Lopatin is the founding director of the Detroit Center for Civil Discourse, a nonprofit designed to bring diverse people together in enriching dialogue, and the founding rabbi of Kehillat Etz Chayim, a new, Modern Orthodox synagogue in metropolitan Detroit. Prior to serving in these roles, he was president of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School in New York and the senior rabbi of Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation in Chicago. While there, he and his wife, Rachel, helped found the pluralistic Chicago Jewish Day School and he co-chaired the Jewish Muslim Community Building Initiative of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs.
A Rhodes Scholar and Truman Fellow with an M. Phil in Medieval Arabic Thought from Oxford University, Rabbi Lopatin also has done doctoral work at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, in Islamic Fundamentalist attitudes towards Jews and Israel. He received ordination from Rav Ahron Soloveichik and Yeshivas Brisk in Chicago, and from Yeshiva University, as a Wexner Graduate Fellow. In 2011, Rabbi Lopatin became a permanent member of The Council on Foreign Relations.
In addition to being a nationally sought after teacher and scholar, Rabbi Lopatin has written numerous articles and chapters for more than 20 books.
“On behalf of the board and staff of JCRC/AJC, we are truly honored to welcome Rabbi Asher Lopatin as our executive director,” said Board President Alicia B. Chandler. “Rabbi Lopatin’s depth of knowledge concerning Judaism, Israel and interfaith relations is unparalleled. His commitment to bridge building and advocacy will be of great importance as we continue to establish collaborative relationships and represent the metropolitan Detroit Jewish community, Israel and Jews throughout the world to the general community.”
November 13, 2018 – The Jewish community of metropolitan Detroit stands in solidarity with Israel as it faces the worst surge of violence since the 2014 Hamas-Israel war. More than 400 rockets have been fired by Hamas at civilian targets in southern Israel over the past 24 hours.
While Israel’s Iron Dome Missile Defense System has intercepted one-quarter of these rockets, many buildings and other structures have been hit. Sadly, this barrage of rockets has resulted in many injuries. A 48-year-old Palestinian man lost his life when a rocket from Gaza struck an apartment building in Ashkelon, Israel.
As the rocket fire continues, life for those in the cities affected has come to a halt – schools have been closed, all public events have been canceled and residents have been told to stay in or close to bomb shelters. To help protect these people, the IDF is moving additional tanks and infantry units to the Gaza border region and striking terrorist locations throughout Gaza.
Here in metropolitan Detroit, we are monitoring the situation closely and with great concern, but from afar. However, tomorrow we will welcome Gil Hoffman, the political correspondent and analyst for The Jerusalem Post, to two events where he will provide insight into Israeli politics and the relationship between Israeli and American Jews. Now, he undoubtedly will address this escalation in violence and explain how Israel is responding.
We remain hopeful that a ceasefire will follow soon and we keep the victims, families and individuals in southern Israel in our thoughts.