"People of the Books" Blog

AJL Statement on Violence

The Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) condemns the hatred, violence, and systemic racism infecting our nation that led to the horrifying death of George Floyd at the hands of police just a few days ago. As the leading authority on Judaic librarianship, we stand for learning and understanding; more importantly, we stand for justice (tzedek) and the protection of human life (pikuach nefesh). In solidarity with the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), we pledge to engage with our friends in the Black community, to work for the repair of the world (tikkun olam).

As a number of Black Jews explain on the Jewish Telegraphic Agency website, the work of anti-racism is exhausting, and people of all races and backgrounds need to step up, speak out, and take action. The Ethics of Our Fathers (Mishna Avot 2:21) famously says, "You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it." AJL, together with everyone who craves a just world, will continue to work toward justice for all.

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