HomeAsian AmericansJewish Organizations Write Letter of Support to Chinese Communities Amid Coronavirus Fears

Jewish Organizations Write Letter of Support to Chinese Communities Amid Coronavirus Fears

On February 20th, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) extended solidarity to Chinese and Chinese American communities with a letter of support signed by dozens of Jewish organizations throughout the country. 

JCPA–a community relations network comprised of 125 community relations councils and 17 national Jewish agencies–addressed the rising hostility and xenophobia since the outbreak of the coronavirus. In the letter, JCPA recognized that “in such times, concern can quickly turn into hysteria, which can lead to scapegoating.”

JCAP continued by affirming that it “pledges to help ensure that Chinese people feel safe and supported, and to combat attacks and stereotyping on social media.” 

As escalating fears over the virus have begun to cultivate an atmosphere of paranoia, there have been growing reports of increased discrimination against Asian and Asian American communities, according to NBC News. Critical to note, these incidents are not limited to individuals of Chinese descent. 

JCAP also raised the issue of “misinformed fears” over the coronavirus leading to a significant decline in revenue for local businesses in Chinatowns. 

The commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services in New York City told CNBC that Chinatown business owners are observing a 40% decline in revenue. The city’s small business chief attributed a loss of customers to “unfounded” coronavirus fears. As of February 26th, there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in New York. 

In recent weeks, cities such as New York, Boston, and Chicago have organized a series of campaigns and events to support their local Chinatowns as they confront a decline in business. 

JCAP echoed its support by assuring that it will caution against xenophobic fears of the coronavirus and strongly encourage their communities to support local Chinatown businesses, citing that “several Jewish communities have sent delegations to local Chinatowns to show their unwavering support”.

The letter was signed by Michael Fromm, JCPA Chair, and David Bernstein, JCPA President and CEO. 

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