Jewish Community Relations Councilof San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, Sonoma, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties


It’s Time to Declare Juneteenth a National Holiday

June 18, 2020
Posted by: JCRC Staff

Tomorrow is Juneteenth, the celebration of the day the last enslaved Americans were officially set free, an event which took place on June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, three month after the conclusion of the Civil War and more than two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. It is the oldest-known commemoration of the end of slavery in America.

Juneteenth is not yet officially a national holiday, but JCRC has decided to observe it anyway. Rather than a day off, the team is being given a chance to do something meaningful in support of JCRC’s commitment to racial justice. Staff will be reflecting and supporting each other through a range of learning opportunities. As an organization with predominantly white-Jewish leadership, JCRC acknowledges there is more we can do to make JCRC an inclusive place for Jews of Color, and other diverse Jews, and we are committed to doing that work.

Furthermore, JCRC is today declaring its support for the citizens and organizers working to make Juneteenth a nationally recognized celebration. To date 47 states have already taken this step, as have many corporations and organizations, and we believe the holiday should be recognized in all U.S. states and territories.

For a listing of local activities in honor of Juneteenth visit:

And to everyone celebrating tomorrow, Happy Juneteenth from JCRC!


PHOTO: Juneteenth Emancipation Day Celebration, June 19, 1900, Texas, photo by Mrs. Charles Stephenson (Grace Murray), via Wikimedia Commons.