The Valley’s Jewish community is mourning the mass shooting at Tree of Life *Or L’Simcha synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday, Oct. 27, where 11 people were killed and six injured. Local community leaders and rabbis are sharing their thoughts, as well as announcing vigils for the dead, injured and the Jewish community of Pittsburgh. This page will be updated as more information come in.
Carlos Galindo-Elvira, regional director, Arizona Regional Office, ADL
"On Saturday, our American Jewish community stood witness to what many feared for a long time: unspeakable violence and hatred on display at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. It is devastating, heartbreaking, and shocking. Let us take comfort in one another, and then dedicate ourselves to the task of erasing hate from our nation."
The ADL will be hosting a vigil at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 30 at the Cutler Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center.
Richard Kasper, president and CEO, Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Phoenix
"The murderous attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue brings into sharp focus the absolute need for responsible national leadership. Thoughts and prayers don't save lives, and they do nothing to confront the rise of white nationalism and virulent hatred directed at Jews and other minorities here and abroad. It is long past time for moral people to demand a return to civil discourse and an end to tacit acceptance of small-minded bigotry and violence."
Rabbi Jeremy Schneider, Temple Kol Ami
Rabbi Schneider shared with the Jewish News a message he gave to the parents of the temple’s religious school:
"If there is one thing that our history as a Jewish people has taught us, it’s that dark times, while inevitable, will not break us. We will never be defeated. We will always stand up to hatred, and come together to find strength, solidarity, and ultimately, peace."
Rabbi Pinchas Allouche, Congregation Beth Teffilah
From an email to his congregation that he shared with Jewish News:
"May G-d comfort the families of the killed among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem, may He heal the wounded speedily, and may He hear our cries and the cries of our nation which has known too much suffering and pain, and bless us with peace and redemption. Amen."
Congregation Beth Tefillah, 6529 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, will be hosting a prayer and memorial service from 5-6:15 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 28.
Rabbi Stephen Kahn, Congregation Beth Israel
"There are no words to communicate the feelings of our hearts as this Shabbat comes to a close. It is more than ‘hearts and prayers’ that we feel, and I know we need each other to grieve, pray, contemplate and begin to make sense of this devastating act of anti-Semitism and terror."
Congregation Beth Israel, 10460 N. 56th St., Scottsdale, will be hosting a special service, "Service of Hope, Healing and Peace," at 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 29.
Chabad of Arizona
“The peace and serenity of our Shabbat was torn to bits, with the horrific news of the attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Together with our brothers and sisters in Jewish communities around the world, we mourn the tragic loss of life, and offer our heartfelt prayers for the victims, their families and all affected by this hatred and evil.”
Chabad of Arizona, 2110 E. Lincoln Dr., Phoenix, will be hosting a prayer service for those impacted by the attack, the injured and law enforcement heroes who put their lives in danger to help others at 5 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 28.
Rabbi Shmuly Yaklowicz, Valley Beit Midrash
"The tragic events in Pittsburgh have shaken the American and world Jewish communities to the core. No matter how much progress we think we have made, the scourge of anti-Semitism still rears its head in the ugliest of ways. May the memories of those whose lives were lost not be in vain. Every day, let us be the builders of peace and justice to ensure that future generations will only know anti-Semitism as a distant disease, rather than a daily reality." JN