The death of George Floyd is a tragic reminder that none of us should ever sit idly by and allow hate, discrimination, and violence to infect our society. As we have witnessed in the days since his death, people across our country are angry and frustrated. They want answers, and they want justice.
As an institution dedicated to teaching the history of the Holocaust, the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust has a moral obligation to stand up for the injustices in our society, particularly those that target disenfranchised people and communities. We stand with victims of bias and racism, and with the families of those who have been senselessly killed.
We are committed to preserving the memories and lessons of the Holocaust, and stand together in steadfast resolve against those who wish to do anyone harm because of who they are, and whatever their race, creed, color, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs. We live in a society where all should be free to live and love and breathe as they wish.
We do not champion violence in response to these acts. We instead commend those across our cities and our country – and our world – who respond with compassion and kindness, and who demonstrate peacefully because they seek to make a better and more beautiful world. They seek to turn pain into promise and progress.
In the words of Elie Wiesel: “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.”
Bruce C. Ratner
President & CEO