Shalom Chaverim (friends),
It was just before the singing of Ein Keloheinu, at the close of this morning's Shabbat services that we learned about the shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh. Like all of you, we were saddened, outraged and devastated by this loss of life at the hands of an affirmed anti-Semite.
What is particularly disconcerting, as news coverage of this heinous event continues to unfold, is that the perpetrator, like many of his ilk, previously proclaimed their hatred and their intentions either to friends, co-workers, to their families or on social media -- without anyone contacting the authorities.
It is my hope that not only will this individual be brought to justice under the full force of the law -- but also that this tragedy will serve as a wakeup call to those who stand by while anti-Semites and others continue, plan, and eventually perpetrate such horrific acts.
I have been personally buoyed by the number of phone calls and emails from members of the local Christian clergy and from non-Jewish residents of our community. They have conveyed their concern, sympathy and outrage over this senseless act of violence. It is significant that during this time of sadness we are surrounded by friends offering support.
We at CTI will continue to work with our local religious and community organizations to continue to ensure strong interfaith connections and partnerships.
Our hearts go out to the Jewish community of Pittsburgh and especially to those affected by today's horrific synagogue shooting. Like all Americans, and in particular members of the Jewish community, we are outraged.
Our synagogue leadership has extended on your behalf our sympathy and prayers to the affected families. We pray for the health and healing of those injured. We thank the first responders for their heroic efforts. And we implore those empowered with leadership to work harder to reduce the spread of hatred.
We believe we are located in a safe community. Yet when events like this occur, we are justly concerned.
Please know that the Glen Cove Police has increased its presence. You will notice a significant increase in patrols at CTI. Additionally, we have taken extra measures to increase security tomorrow, with additional personnel whom you will see both in person, and behind the scenes. We will be working on a plan for the future.
Today's incident has unsettled all of us. Yet, as the Torah teaches, we must move forward and "choose life." With broken hearts, we will resume operations tomorrow morning, strengthened by the energy of our young children attending Hebrew school, those attending services, and those gathered to perform acts of kindness.
This is what we as Jews do. We mourn, we reflect, and continue to pursue a more perfect world.
Today was not a good day towards that endeavor. Tomorrow is a new day. With profound sadness, our sacred community will do what we always have done in times of tragedy. We will move forward.
May the names of those who perished always be for a blessing. In their memory we will assume our communal responsibility to carry their memories forward through acts of loving kindness.
Tomorrow, with heavy hearts, we will stand with Pittsburgh. In spite of this profound loss, we will choose life.
Rabbi Irwin Huberman
Cantor Gustavo Gitlin
President Phyllis Spector
President Phyllis Abrams
We Stand With Pittsburgh
Shalom Chaverim (friends),