A Message to Our Community

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion family stands with all the people of Jerusalem and the State of Israel at this tragic moment of sadness when brutality has touched our community. The inhuman murder of innocent worshippers in a sacred place of Jewish prayer and study is an affront to all humankind. Our hearts are joined with all who are mourning and with all who pray and work for peace.

We pray for the recovery of those injured, and we feel a deep bond with those who were murdered, for they too were students of Torah. We remember, along with all who mourn them around the world, Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, Rabbi Aryeh Kopinsky, Rabbi Calman Levine, and Rabbi Moshe Twersky. We recognize the heroism of Sgt. Major Zidan Seif, the Druze policeman who gave his life preventing the terrorists from causing further harm. May all of their memories be a blessing, and may their families somehow find solace in this senseless moment of pain and grief.

Let this heinous attack become a clarion call to recommit ourselves to the safety and security of our beloved Israel and all Jewish communities everywhere, and let us ensure that all our actions continue to lead to a more peaceful society in all that we do.

Rabbi Aaron Panken, Ph.D., President
Andrew R. Berger, Chair, Board of Governors

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu