NJSJR Position Statement on Diversity

“All the words have being given by a single Shepherd, one God created them, one Provider gave them, the Lord of all deeds, blessed be He, has spoken them. So make yourself a heart of many rooms and bring into it the words of the House of Shammai and the words of the House of Hillel, the words of those who declare [certain things to be] unclean and the words of those who declare [those same things to be] clean.” (Tosefta, Sotah 7:12)

Nashville has long been a warm and welcoming community. Some trace its history of hospitality back to Civil War times. Nashville Jewish Social Justice Roundtable supports diversity in Nashville. Judaism teaches us to welcome the stranger. The commandment to love and protect the stranger is repeated 36 times in the Torah, more than any other commandment. Additionally, stories in the Torah give us guiding examples. The commitment to diversity is especially meaningful today in Nashville because it defines the character of the city. Community leaders embrace the commitment. They make a point of appearing everywhere without regard to race or religion of the constituency. NJSJR applauds this on-the-ground commitment. People who follow this precept get elected. Conversely, NJSJR condemns racism and bigotry as antithetical to Jewish values and dominant Nashville values. We pledge to back efforts supporting diversity and oppose discrimination of any kind.