#Jews4BlackLives: The Bronx

Photos by Rafael Shimunov

We met at the Riverdale Monument. What better place to call out for justice in all directions than a bell tower on a hill?

And what better place as Jews for Racial & Economic Justice to call upon our sisters and brothers than Riverdale, Bronx — home to one of NYC’s largest Jewish populations.

Organized by JFREJ’s Jews of Color Caucus and their Campaign for Police Accountability, #Jews4BlackLives is a month long series of actions throughout NYC culminating next week for Tisha B’av.

Tisha B’av is the day Jews worldwide mourn calamities that have befallen us.

This Tisha B’av we’re showing up as Jews of Color and New Yorkers for all our sisters and brothers who have faced police violence.

When I was a kid, my grandfather used to tell me that I was his tree. There were lots of trees with us.

I asked my grandfather, if I was a tree, what would that make him?

He told me he and my parents were roots.

I also found roots.

We didn’t just march. We walked, and sang, and prayed with a specific demand.

We’re calling on our local communities and representatives to lead and pass the Right To Know Act.

A legislative package that builds transparancy into everyday interactions with the NYPD.

Because New Yorkers have a right to know.

Because accountability saves lives.

And our community won’t stop shouting from the bell towers.

It will stop business as usual.

It will stop and sing.

It will use our traditions in resistance.

All of our trees and all of our roots.

And will be lit by the sun.

And at night by our candles and police lights.

Until she is free.

To join us on Tisha B’av, find Jews for Racial & Economic Justice on Facebook and Twitter and sign up to know more. To reach your NYC council member about The Right To Know Act, sign up with Communities United for Police Reform.

Join us on the streets next week.