Joint Statement by Jewish Communal Organizations
We join today as representatives of Jewish American communal organizations to urge our political leaders and all our fellow Americans to treat this public health crisis as a moment for kindness and solidarity, and to make extra efforts to reach towards one another in support, not look to blame or scapegoat.
Jews as a people have a long history of being singled out and stigmatized during times of societal crisis, including being blamed without basis for the spread of disease. Particularly in times of great fear, uncertainty and unrest, that demonization can increase the risk and even open the door to violent outbursts of bigotry and hatred. This history compels us to call on all people and particularly all leaders to reject conspiracy theories and the singling out of Asian Americans, foreigners, immigrants, Jews, or any other communities in this moment.
We also request our nation's leaders to consistently refer to this disease only by its clinical name, COVID-19, and to avoid problematic descriptions for it, such as “the Chinese virus.” Use of these terms could lead some people to blame particular groups for a deadly disease that infects equally, without regard for race, ethnicity, or national origin.
Now is the time to promote unity, to reach across the aisle in compassion, to show an extra measure of empathy toward all people, and to love our neighbors like ourselves.
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