ADL Expresses Solidarity, Grief After California Synagogue Shooting
Denver, CO, April 28, 2019 … The Anti-Defamation League Mountain States Region expresses its shock and deep sadness following the horrific shootings at the Chabad of Poway’s synagogue, near San Diego, CA. One person was killed and three were wounded.
We are devastated by the shootings at the synagogue in Poway, California. While this was a shooting at one Chabad synagogue, it was an attack on Jews everywhere. We mourn the loss of life and pray for the speedy recovery of those that were wounded.
This horrific event occurred on the Jewish Sabbath and the last day of Passover, a holy day to the Jewish people. It was six months to the day following the murder of 11 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA. These murders at synagogues have been part of a long line of recent shootings and bombings at houses of worship, including at churches in Sri Lanka, mosques in New Zealand, a Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, WI, and the Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, SC. No one should be made to feel unsafe or insecure at a place of worship.
The alleged shooter at the Chabad synagogue purportedly posted a letter/manifesto that included a laundry list of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Notably, it included the longstanding white supremacist assertion that Jews are responsible for non-white immigration, which “threatens” the white race.
We are thankful to law enforcement and the many people that have reached out to the Jewish community to offer support and make clear that we are supported in this time of need.
This latest event should be a call not only to thoughts and prayers, but also to action. Leaders must speak out against anti-Semitism and all forms of hate; the Department of Homeland Security and FBI need to devote more resources to countering domestic terrorism; consistent with the First Amendment, laws should be crafted that hold perpetrators of severe online hate and harassment more accountable for their conduct; tech and social media companies should improve their own terms of service related to hate and extremism and enforce those terms more effectively.— ADL Mountain States Regional Director Scott Levin
Since 1979, ADL has conducted an annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents. In 2017, the Audit demonstrated a surge in anti-Semitism in the United States, with a 57% increase in 2017 over 2016. In ADL’s Mountain States Region of Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming, the Audit demonstrated a 34% year-over-year increase. The 2018 Audit is expected to be released in the next week.
ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate. ADL’s Mountain States Region covers Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. More at https://mountainstates.adl.org/.
Colorado’s Jewish Community Relations Council stands with JEWISHcolorado in expressing its horror and sadness in response to yet another senseless tragedy targeted at our Jewish community.
We share our deep condolences for the family of Lori Gilbert-Kaye and all those injured and impacted by this violent act.
Violence like this will never be accepted as normal. Our 40 Jewish organizations across Colorado stand with all those in Poway, California and everyone around the world who continues to be impacted by these types of tragedies. We will continue to work for justice for our community.
The JCRC (Jewish Community Relations Council) advocates for policy issues that affect the Colorado Jewish community and represents these views to the Jewish community and to the general community of Colorado. JCRC consists of more than 39 member organizations, 15 at-large members, and is affiliated with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA).
We are once again devastated and horrified by the senseless anti-Semitic attack that took place yesterday at Chabad in Poway, California, near San Diego. This latest act of hatred took place during Shabbat on the last day of Passover, exactly six months after the assault at the Tree of Life Synagogue.
Our hearts are heavy as anti-Semitic acts around the country, and in our own community, continue to occur with regularity. We stand united with the Poway and San Diego Jewish communities and we share our deepest condolences on the loss of innocent life and pray for the full recovery of the injured.
This rising wave of hatred and bigotry in our country and across the world must be stopped. This escalation of repetitive tragic acts demands action. JEWISHcolorado, in coordination with other key partners, is responding by reviewing and enhancing the preparedness and security needs of religious communities throughout Colorado. Being able to respond in any kind of emergency is essential to ensuring that our places of worship are sanctuaries of prayer and community, as they are intended to be. There is — and will never be — a place for hatred among us.
May the families of the fallen be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. On behalf of our entire community, we share a Refuah Shlema, a traditional Jewish prayer for healing for those injured and for all sickened by this tragedy.
Diana Zeff Anderson
Rabbi Jay Strear
President and CEO
Rabbi Marc Soloway
It was a terrible shock to come out of Shabbat and the last day of Pesach to hear the news of yet another hateful, murderous shooting in a place of worship; the Chabad of Poway, CA. during Shabbat services. So awful, so unspeakable. Before I even heard the actual news, I saw three emails of support from members of the Islamic Center of Boulder, reinforcing just how deep and urgent our solidarity with one another is right now.
Our hearts go out to the family of Lori Kaye, the 60 year old woman who was killed when she jumped in front of the rabbi as he was being shot. Peace on her soul. Refuah shlemah (complete healing) to the rabbi and the others who were injured, including a child.
Yet again, anti-Jewish hatred has reared its ugly head in the form of White Nationalism, in the week where we commemorate the Holocaust on Yom HaShoah on Wednesday night and Thursday. We stand in solidarity with Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who was calling for peace and unity even after he was shot.
In recent weeks and months, Muslim, Christian and Jewish places of worship have been attacked while at prayer in shameful, cowardly and brutal ways that we condemn and abhor in the strongest possible terms.
As much as we hope that the perpetrators responsible for these acts will be brought to justice, we must acknowledge that their actions cannot be taken in isolation with the rising rhetoric of racism in all its manifestations. There is a plague of hate speech in our world, much of it on social media and we must collectively do all we can to stop these messages and to continue to pour out love and friendship where there is hate and intolerance. Whether the targets are Jews, Muslims, Christians, blacks, whites, the LGBTQ+ community, the hate must constantly be challenged and called to account.
It is not enough to talk about solidarity, we must live it, act it whenever we can, deepening our relations with people of other faiths, people whose culture is different from ours, people who, like us all, are left feeling vulnerable and afraid by the deeds we are once again seeing perpetrated against life itself.
As that deadly attack near San Diego was happening, Jews all over the world were reading a prophetic passage for the last day of Pesach from Isaiah foretelling the day when ‘they shall not hurt nor destroy in all God’s mountain, because the earth shall be full of the awareness of God, as the waters cover the sea’. How we yearn for that time as we feel so far from it!
In the memory of Lori Kaye and all the too many victims whose lives have been ripped away while at prayer, let’s have the courage to work together to bring that Messianic vision closer.
Blessings of strength, courage and comfort
Rabbi Yisroel and Leah Wilhelm
It is with great pain and sadness that we stand tonight in solidarity with our sister Chabad-Lubavitch Center in Poway, California, whose holiday tranquility was brutally disrupted by the anti-Semitic shooting attack, fueled by hate and darkness.
In Poway, Pittsburgh or Jerusalem, we are targeted simply for being Jewish. Those who hate us do not differentiate based on “affiliations” or other labels.
But at the same time, we must not give in to panic, bitterness, or self-pity. We, the Jewish people are a collective affirmation of life. This is a time to come together and recognize what unites us.
Please pray for those injured in this terrible attack and do an extra Mitzvah, good deed in memory Lori Kaye, of blessed memory.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe of righteous memory always called for action and urged that we turn darkness to light. In the coming days, we will follow up with practical suggestions of goodness and kindness in response to this attack.
Thank you to everyone who reached out with concern, love and care. Your friendship is truly felt and appreciated. For those who have asked us. We did have a paid, off-duty police officer at the Passover Seders and are in touch with the police about future events.
“We are strong” – Am Yisroel Chai!
Rabbi Yisroel & Leah Wilhelm
Dear Friends of the Boulder JCC,
We are devastated by the anti-Semitic and hate-filled attack at the Chabad of Poway synagogue near San Diego on Saturday, as they were celebrating the last day of Passover. Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and the San Diego and Chabad communities at this time, and we pray for the recovery of the victims and mourn the tragic death of Lori Kaye.
Unfortunately, we live in a climate where hate and bigotry is present in our community and throughout the world. From Charleston and Pittsburgh to Oak Creek and Sri Lanka to Christchurch and now Chabad of Poway, we continue to see ways in which individual actions have enormous traumatic effects on communities. The Boulder JCC remains committed to being a safe space for community building and meaningful discourse, as well as a center for vibrant Jewish life in Boulder County. In times like these, our role in the community of dispelling the myth of the other is ever more important on a local, national, and international level.
Below is some information, resources, and statements that may be helpful during this time:
Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who was wounded during the attack, has reflected on the events and shared a common vision for our future:
If you’re looking for ways to financially support the Poway community, Chabad of Poway has set up a donation link through their website. Please consider making a donation to their recovery efforts.
The Boulder Jewish News has compiled statements from a variety of organizations and rabbis in our community. Rabbi Greene of Congregation Har HaShem also shared a recorded video response.
The Anti-Defamation League’s, 5 Things You Can Do To Combat Hate, provides multiple avenues to take action.
In light of the recent anti-Semitic attacks, it is important that we never forget the Holocaust while also acknowledging the reemergence of thriving, contemporary Jewish communities around the world. We invite you to join us at these upcoming events. All are open to our entire community, for people of all faiths:
- May 1: Yom HaShoah v’HaGevurah, Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust and the Heroism. This community-wide observance will take place at Congregation Nevei Kodesh at 7 pm. Free, RSVP required.
- May 1: Yom HaShoah Program Lunch and Learn – “Buried Rivers: A Spiritual Journey into the Holocaust.” 2 pm at the Boulder JCC. $15 in advance, lunch included.
- May 5: Americans and the Holocaust – What Did Coloradans Know? A program of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Boulder JCC. 1:30 pm at the Boulder JCC. Free, RSVP required.
- May 14: “The Rebirth of Jewish Life in Poland,” a talk with Krakow JCC Executive Director, Jonathan Ornstein. 6 pm at the Boulder JCC. Free, RSVP required.
As always, security is our number one priority and we are in close communication with local law enforcement, our national safety and security networks, along with our dedicated security team to ensure the safety of our community. We remind everyone in our community, “If You See Something, Say Something.”
Please take care of yourselves and each other through this difficult time. If you have any questions please contact me at email@example.com or 303-998-1900 x1001.
Rabbi Fred Greene
To our Har HaShem Community:
I am writing to share a few words, reflections and resources.
I hope you will look at my Video Message: Rabbi Greene Video Message After Poway.
Here is information about Yom HaShoah — Holocaust Remembrance Day: http://www.boulderhaver.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/YomHaShoah_flyer-2019.pdf
If you have children at home, I wanted to share some resources to help you in this difficult parenting task:
- For parents of teens: https://reformjudaism.org/blog/2018/10/28/4-ways-talk-teens-after-pittsburgh-shooting?fbclid=IwAR1lhG24Q0LUPxNcAhDrL0W-Fzn4x7FSWAiJjzlfbdktcxQBpmogkpGzZFw
Music for healing: https://reformjudaism.org/songs-healing-music-listen-after-tragedy
In addition, our staff is here to support you. Be assured that we also have been working hard with a team of volunteers to address safety and security and will continue to update you on those efforts. Our children are important and precious to us all and we want to ensure that Har HaShem remains a home, a place of comfort and joy, of gathering and learning. If we can be at all helpful, please reach out to us.