Statement on the Shootings of Jacob Blake and Protesters in Kenosha

The Jewish Federation of Madison remains profoundly distressed by ongoing shooting incidents, most recently the horrific shooting of Jacob Blake. He was shot seven times in his back by a Kenosha police officer in front of his three young children. Violence like that is as despicable as it is scary. It brings to light yet again the need for transformative change in police procedures and culture.

We regret the ensuing acts of violence and destruction that resulted from this horrible event and join with others in calling for peaceful protests. We are outraged and saddened by the shooting incident on Tuesday night in Kenosha by an armed 17-year old self-proclaimed vigilante, killing two people at a protest, and seriously injuring a third. We must not let violent "militias" derail pursuits for justice.

The Jewish Federation of Madison stands with the Black community to fight racism. We will continue to demonstrate our support of the local communities of color through ongoing programs that promote understanding across different peoples and fight against all forms of hate and injustice by speaking out.

We send prayers of healing to Mr. Blake and hopes for comfort and support to his family. Our thoughts are with those killed and injured while peacefully assembling on Tuesday and their families. We also send prayers of healing to the Kenosha community, especially to our Black brothers and sisters who have had to endure yet another act of violence directed against their community.

"Few are guilty, but all are responsible." ~ Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel