Over the last few weeks, we have carefully considered the right and just ways for Leichtag Foundation to communicate about what are only the most recent atrocities after decades and centuries of systemic racial inequity and injustice in this country. Immediately after the murder of George Floyd, we communicated that we would start by uplifting Black voices as we worked internally to develop actions to which we can commit.

First, we say clearly. Black lives matter. We’re taking a hard look to change our internal practices that may run counter to this declaration, to advance our role in the community to reflect and actualize this value, and at how we steward our resources to clearly convey it through our actions in addition to our words.

Juneteenth falls this week bringing increased eagerness to acknowledge and uplift this holiday that celebrates the formal end to chattel slavery in America. In the spirit of this milestone, we commit to building an anti-racist Leichtag Foundation. We commit to building an anti-racist Jewish community.

We recognize that pathways for organizations like ours with wealth, power and privilege to demonstrate allyship with communities of color result in deeply needed empathy. But expressing our empathy and lending our voice isn’t enough. Embarking on an intentional path of work only starts there. We commit to better understanding what is required of us to advocate for Black and non-Black people of color and dismantle the structures that oppress them.

The first step in our goal to build an anti-racist organization will be to engage in a stakeholder assessment to gauge where Leichtag Foundation is now on this journey and to guide us in developing and publicly releasing metrics within the next six months for how we will improve. The assessment, to be conducted by an independent people of color-led entity, will solicit candid, confidential input from our staff, grantee partners, and other stakeholders. We will report regularly and publicly about our process in achieving these metrics.  

As we pursue a shared goal of building an anti-racist Jewish community, we will check in with and expand our relationships with the leaders of Black communities, leaders and organizations in the Jewish communal field, the philanthropy field, and beyond.

We will support our partner local Jewish community organizations in building capacity for their efforts to become anti-racist; creating guidelines for their internal accountability in these efforts; explore meaningful and impactful ways to engage in participatory Black-led giving, and invest in leadership development and recruitment of people of color for senior professional positions in our local nonprofits.

We will continue to share our learnings, commitments, metrics and progress through social media, blog posts, videos and other media to hold accountability for ourselves and to help provide our community with tools as well.

We are committed to implementing change at Leichtag Foundation, and levering our influence as a funder in the community. Hineni. We are here, we take note. Lech L’cha, we are taking immediate steps to act.