It is with profound sadness that the World Union for Progressive Judaism reaches out to the Jewish community of Pittsburgh to send its condolences. We stand with you. We share your pain and shock.
We are an international community of synagogues, and the massacre in Pittsburgh during Shabbat services is all the more painful because of our love of synagogues and Jewish congregational life. Our synagogues are our second homes, and this attack feels very personal.
At 10 am on a Shabbat morning, Congregation Tree of Life, like hundreds of other synagogues, was beginning its morning services, Torah study with B’nai Mitzvah and baby naming guests in attendance. The scene is familiar to us all.
The assault is a direct attack on Judaism and America’s Jews. It represents the single, most violent incident against Jewish Americans in the history of the United States. The self-confidence that has exemplified North American Jewry’s sense of security has been punctured.
We did not – and will not – allow terrorists to make us fear practicing our faith. We will act out of hope and resolve, not out of fear. Our mission is to ensure that Jews can live and pray in safety, wherever they chose to live.
We stand in support of our brothers and sisters in Pittsburgh and everywhere Jewish life is threatened. These events remind us our fates are intertwined. Our resolve to combat hate, anti-Semitism and terror is intensified by this horrific act.
May God comfort the Pittsburgh Jewish community among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
Rabbi Daniel Freelander, President Carole Sterling, Chair