Rabbi Sandra Lawson serves as Jewish educator and associate chaplain for Jewish life at Elon University near Burlington, North Carolina. Since September, Lawson has been a participant in our Jewish Political Voices Project, where Moment is exploring the views of American Jewish voters in the months leading up to the 2020 presidential election. Moment contributor Dan Freedman spoke with Lawson about the recent events surrounding the murder of George Floyd and the protests that followed.
Jewish Americans have always been reliable allies in civil rights battles and have consistently led advocacy and legislation aimed at helping minority communities and denouncing injustice and inequality. It’s no surprise that the community is once again standing up for African Americans in their struggle for justice and for reforming the way police forces deal with black Americans.
Where can the Jewish community play a part this time around?
Amid the press releases and picket signs, there was this: a dozen twenty-something Jews, gathered around a dairy Shabbat potluck in the basement of a Washington, D.C. apartment building this past Saturday, caught in the crossfire of recriminations, unsure.
Since the Movement for Black Lives’ platform went live, it has left some Jewish groups trying to balance their obligation to the racial justice movement with their dedication to Israel.