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Dear John,

Like many of you, I’ve spent sleepless nights this past week glued to the television, seeing things that I never expected to see in our country.

We shouldn’t be surprised to see protests demanding justice springing up all over our nation after the tragic murder of George Floyd by the police in Minneapolis. These are expressions of collective outrage.

I’m troubled by the acts of vandalism and violence that have tainted otherwise peaceful protests around the country, but in this moment we need to stay focused on the core story.

George Floyd is that story. Breonna Taylor is that story. Ahmaud Arbery. Eric Garner. Michael Brown. Trayvon Martin. They are the story.

We must work to change the thinking and systems that have institutionalized racism, but it is more than just institutions that need to change; it is us as individuals. During the Civil Rights era, Rabbi Abraham Heschel joined Martin Luther King, Jr. in his Alabama march from Selma to Montgomery. Rabbi Heschel said afterward, “I prayed with my feet.” We continue this today as we stand in solidarity with people of color and our allies in the Black community.

In the Jewish tradition, we close the week on Shabbat, taking time for reflection, learning and meaningful conversation, often with family and friends. We encourage the ADL community — across faiths and cultures — to spend this weekend sharing awareness of, reflecting on and grappling with the protests motivated by George Floyd’s murder, systemic racism in America and how to secure a more just and inclusive society.

Whether you are gathered at home with family, or gathering virtually with your community online, we encourage you to deepen your understanding of the conversation in our country around racism, systems of oppression and equity. We urge you to build awareness on social media by sharing the ways you will be spending #JusticeShabbat.


During #JusticeShabbat, you can discuss current events, racism and injustice with ADL’s Table Talk about the murder of George Floyd, how bias and hate escalate and the larger context of police brutality and systemic racism.

We have compiled a living library with this and other important educational resources from leading voices in civil rights so our ADL community can stay informed and take steps as allies in the fight against racism and discrimination.

In addition to these shared resources and ADL discussion guides, you can find out more about how our Center on Extremism is actively monitoring extremist groups’ commentary on — and occasional participation in — the nationwide protests, and has found an abundance of online conspiracy theories blaming George Soros for fomenting the chaos.

You can read more in our resource library about the coalitions that ADL is helping to build, including a push by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights urging Congress to pass meaningful police reform legislation, and a pledge by over 130 Jewish organizations to work tirelessly to end systemic racism.

ADL has been committed to creating a more just and inclusive society for over 100 years. My commitment to you is that we won’t be satisfied to just say enough. We will redouble our efforts, so we honor the memory of George Floyd and so many others who have been taken from us far too soon.

JG signature
Jonathan Greenblatt
CEO and National Director