There are no words to express the hurt that our community is facing. We are horrified, heartbroken, fearful, angry, and in mourning, in response to the murder of 11 people this morning in a sacred Jewish space on the holy day of Shabbat.
Some in our community emerged from a restful Shabbat to encounter the atrocity that has occurred. For others, we sat with this news all day, wondering Eicha? How could this be? To enter a Jewish sanctuary and slaughter innocent people goes against our Torah’s teachings and the core of Jewish belief — indeed, the beliefs of every decent person — that every human life is holy and invaluable.
Though words are not actions, they have consequences. In recent years, white supremacist shooters have murdered people in churches, mosques, a Sikh gurdwara, and synagogues. This violence is the consequence of white nationalist, antisemitic, and racist rhetoric and threats going unchallenged by national leaders. This murderer — like the man who apparently sent pipe bombs to national leaders this week — was emboldened by leaders who cheer on hate groups, dog whistle antisemitism and racism, and call Nazis “fine people.”
Our safety will not come through any number of armed guards on the doors of our holy places. It will only come from building a community and society where all people are welcomed, valued, and loved. Unchecked antisemitism, racism, and their accompanying white nationalist conspiracy theories put all of us at risk and are a threat to our lives and our democracy. We hope you will work with us as we continue to raise the consciousness of everyone in our region and resist white supremacy in all its forms.
At this difficult time we want you to know that JUFJ is your community. If you are looking for a place to come together — a place to be Jewish, and proud, and sorrowful at the same time — we hope you’ll join us and many of our partners at one of these events:
Be close to your loved ones. Be safe. Reach out and support one another through this tragedy. And know that the world we are fighting for together is a world where the suffering we feel today will be no more.
If you know of other community gathering events, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add them to this list.