A statement from Adam E. Witkov, Board Chair and John A. Yopps, President and CEO

Over our 156-year history, Jewish Family Services, Inc. (JFS) has witnessed the growth of Milwaukee as a supporter, defender, and caregiver of not only the Jewish community, but of our greater community and beyond.  We have seen the birth of a state in Israel and the triumphs and struggles that come with maintaining that statehood.   We have seen Milwaukee grow in its support for Israel and we stand united with our community.

We are heartbroken at the senseless destruction, tragic loss of life and brutal violence that has again been perpetrated on Israel over the last few days.  We share the grief of friends and families and the outrage of our community at the atrocities that have been brought to Israel.  We join the Milwaukee and global community in condemning the attack on Israel and pray for peace. 

As a people that knows struggle, Jews embrace long-held values and beliefs, core principles that have been a compass for our community ovedr the millenia, the same values and beliefs that are seemingly absent in our international dialog today.  We are reminded of some of these during this time of yet more violence against Israel and the Jewish people.  

Darkhey shalom (Paths of peace)

In a world where tension and conflict so often result in destructive behavior, remain aware and seek opportunities to use emotional, political, and financial resources in ways that create universal harmony.  This especially applies to conflicts among nations, individuals and ethnic and religious groups.

Kehila (Commitment to community)

This tradition professes that human beings can only fulfill themselves fully in relationships, and that community is the center of relationships.  Building and sustaining equitable and just communities is critical to human fulfillment; we must strive to create communities that manifest justice, opportunity, and peace.

Tzedekah (Social justice)

Ensuring social justice means acting to defy oppression, preserve human dignity, and to meet basic needs including education, meaningful work, food, clothing and shelter, etc.  We will only live in a just society when every one of its members is treated justly.

It is the duty of every person to leave the world better than they found it.  We must fully support the Jewish community now by demanding justice for Israel, and provide support for our neighbors, friends, and families, and must never be silent on the state of our humanity.

Adam E. Witkov, Board Chair

John A. Yopps, President and CEO