The past several weeks have made a deep impression on me. I am anguished by the stories being told and by the videos I watch on the Internet. I join in the outrage over the inequities experienced by black and brown communities, and I am deeply concerned about growing anti-Semitism in our country and around the world. I strongly support the efforts taking place across the country to correct social and racial injustices. Like so many, I hope that justice will be served for those disproportionately impacted by tragedy because of the color of their skin, the country they were born in, or the faith they subscribe to.
As an agency, CJE is committed to being an advocate for equality. All our programs and services are available to anyone. We are rooted in Jewish tradition, but we always serve with an open mind and an open heart. I have observed personally how CJE serves people of many diverse backgrounds and how we employ hundreds of caring and passionate individuals of a variety of races and ethnicities.
As the agency’s CEO, I am committed to making real change happen through new and ongoing programs and fully support our managers and staff to do the same. During the past few weeks, I have been listening, reflecting, and developing tangible steps to further diversity, equity, and inclusion. I am proud to share some of the specific steps we will be taking in the coming months.
- The appointment of a Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to develop strategies to support and accelerate diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. This Council will ensure these efforts are woven into the fabric of the agency starting today and into the future.
- Implementation of diversity, inclusion, and cultural sensitivity training for all team members.
- Development of goals and timetables for outreach and affirmative action initiatives as part of our Affirmative Action Employer obligations. We will make good faith efforts toward implementing our Affirmative Action Program and are committed to sharing our accomplishments with staff.
- Fortification of initiatives to recruit and retain employees of color into leadership roles across the agency more effectively.
- Recognition of Martin Luther King Day as a CJE holiday and providing opportunities for staff to participate in MLK Day events.
Our community is made up of amazing individuals that embody our values, including kavod (respect), timicha (advocacy), and kavanah (intention). Today, we stand together, thankful for the differences that make us strong and look forward to a time when all members of our society feel heard, valued, and loved.