JCM United began when religious leaders from the Monterey Peninsula gathered as world-wide tensions between the three Abrahamic religions were high. The group believed that there were ways to change those perceptions locally. Brian Bajari, a pastor and homeless advocate, helped organize the first meeting. He remarked in the June 23, 2016 Monterey County NOW article called "Christians, Jews and Muslims in Monterey County Build Bridges, Create New Outreach Effort that, “Hatred and violence can be vanquished by understanding and working with each other...
It’s crucial that we as a community learn about one another and live as neighbors, even if we have religious differences.” So far it's worked. The Board is composed of members from Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, Congregation Beth Israel, The Islamic Society of Monterey County and All Saints Church. Volunteers at Abraham's Tent and program participants join with the express hope to "unite, not divide".
We, the board members of JCM United, leaders from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim communities of the Monterey Peninsula join together speaking aloud words that must be heard throughout our country, Black Lives Matter. For too long the Black members of our community have suffered from discrimination. We, the leaders of JCM United, want to remind everyone that we are all created equally in the image of God.
No one should live in fear because of the color of their skin. Too many Black lives have been lost. Too many have suffered simply because of the color of their skin. It is time to remove all those peace officers who do not understand Black lives matter. The United States of America must be a place with liberty and justice for all. Today that pledge remains a hope but not a truth. The murder of George Floyd and the death of hundreds of other Black Americans underscores the threat to Black men and women throughout our nation.
Our police forces unfairly target the Black community. The result is today Blacks live in fear of those who are supposed to serve and protect them. It is time to train the members of all police forces to respect all lives, to treat all people equally, and to de-escalate confrontations and the purchasing of military equipment.
Black citizens must no longer live in fear. We are all brothers and sisters, one human family. We pray our society begins to heal this wound of bigotry and racism. We pray for peace in our streets and acceptance of all as equals.
We unite in sharing this message of hope: Black lives matter
Rabbi Bruce Greenbaum
President, JCM United
Mr. Agha Bilel
Mr. Brian Bajari
Mr. Abdel Seck
The Rev. Harold Lusk
The Rev. Holly Hudson-Louis