We Are Devastated

October 27, 2018

The JTS community is devastated by today’s horrific events in Pittsburgh. The residents of Squirrel Hill are an extension of our family, with JTS alumni leading the Tree of Life Or L’Simcha Congregation as well as the larger Pittsburgh Jewish community. We grieve with them, and our hearts are broken for the families and friends of the 11 innocent people who were gunned down inside their synagogue as they celebrated Shabbat.

We are grateful for the bravery of the first responders who risked their lives to save others and prevent even more loss of life.

We implore our political representatives to address the spiraling violence that is turning formerly safe places—our schools, our churches, and today, one of our synagogues—into scenes of unspeakable carnage. We implore all Americans to cease the divisive rhetoric that has come to characterize our political discourse and which gives succor to those who hate. We ask them to replace that rhetoric with the language of respectful disagreement and shared values.

We must come together as a nation to find healing and common ground. Thoughts and prayers are not enough to prevent even more innocent Americans from dying at the hands of people who hate those who differ from themselves.