Yesterday’s armed attack on Chabad of Poway in San Diego County, California – an attack that follows by six months the mass shooting at Tree of Life – Or L'Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh – is an unspeakable tragedy that threatens to undermine our sense of security. It demonstrates yet again that antisemitism in America is a growing threat. The murderous attacks on religious minorities in New Zealand and Sri Lanka illustrate the growing assault of nationalistic and religious extremism.
The recent attacks stem from an obscene distortion of all true-religious values. They make apparent the importance of the work that our students are preparing for, and that our faculty, staff and alumni execute every day: work that motivates us towards Justice, in which we cultivate a fundamental respect for all human life—no matter what race, no matter what creed.
Coming just a few days before the annual commemoration of Yom Hashoah, this tragedy reminds us that the power of hatred must be confronted before it destroys the values of justice, decency, and human rights in our society. We hold the victims and their loved ones in our hearts as we rededicate ourselves to the core mission of our work.
Our hearts go out to our alumni as leaders of congregations and Jewish institutions for their vital roles in securing the safety of their communities.