HUC-JIR Statement on the Chabad of Poway Shooting - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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HUC-JIR Statement on the Chabad of Poway Shooting

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Sunday, April 28, 2019

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.

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 leaders to serve 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, museums, 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.