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RISC Weekend of Prayer and Mourning

Past Sessions
Saturday, October 24, 2020 6 Cheshvan 5781 - 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM - Zoom
Friday, October 23, 2020 5 Cheshvan 5781 - 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM - Zoom

Join us at both Shabbat services as we pray for victims of gun violence and their families.

Saturday Services Rabbi Knopf will have a sermon dialogue with Rabbi Dr. Aryeh Cohen on the topic of gun violence.  Author of Justice in the City: An Argument from the Sources of Rabbinic Judaism, Rabbi Dr. Cohen is a professor, social justice activist, and lecturerHe teaches Rabbinic Literature and social justice at the Ziegler School for Rabbinic Studies of the American Jewish University, where he was ordained in 2010. He is the Rabbi-in-Residence for Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice in Southern California.

Background Approximately 80 RISC (Richmonders Involved to Strengthen our Communities) members recently attended a meeting with Mayor Stoney. On August 31st, at our Zoom Action, Mayor Stoney had told us that he and his team were considering moving forward with one of three different programs – GVI (our RISC proposed solution), Advance Peace, or Cure Violence. After a brief caucus, we came back to Mayor Stoney and told him that while we thought GVI was the best of those 3 programs – we were willing to accept of the three (as they are all evidence-based proven programs). He would not make a commitment.

Given the passage of 30 days since that time (with the number of shootings and homicides continuing to spike), we had hoped that he would have made a decision. However, Mayor Stoney reported to us that he and his team are now considering a program that pulls from all three of the programs. He could not tell us what “expert” would oversee such a process, nor a timeline. We told him what is needed here in Richmond is an evidence-based proven program, implemented with fidelity.

We are saddened by Mayor Stoney’s decision, grieving for Richmond, and committed to continuing to work toward a solution we believe will work.

In response, RISC has declared a “Weekend of Prayer and Mourning” in the city. We will pray for the victims of gun violence and their families, and call upon Mayor Stoney to have a change of heart.

Watch a recording of the meeting here.

Click here to see a great story from WTVR / CBS on where we are with gun violence. We expect more press to come in the coming weeks.

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Mon, October 26 2020 8 Cheshvan 5781