The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America and the Rabbinical Council of America express their deepest sympathy to the families of those who lost their lives in the horrific murders that took place during Shabbat services this morning at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh. We pray for the speedy recovery of those injured in the shooting, including the brave police officers who rushed directly into the active crime scene.
“This senseless act of anti-Semitic violence was not only an egregious attack on the Jewish community, but an attack on the very foundations of civil society and our collective democratic values,” said Allen Fagin, the Orthodox Union’s executive vice president.
“Our hearts break for the senseless murder of our fellow Jews and all victims of vicious hate crimes,” said Moishe Bane, president of the Orthodox Union. “We condemn the dangerous rhetoric that foments such senseless violence and we stand with the Tree of Life Congregation and the whole Pittsburgh community at this terrible time.”
“We live in contentious times, when fringe elements of society have become emboldened by speech which is often disrespectful and hateful,” said Rabbi Elazar Muskin, president of the Rabbinical Council of America. “As a nation, committed to the freedom and rights of all, we must commit to reach out not only to those who are like us – but especially as our sacred Torah has taught us – to those with whom we disagree.”
“One of the greatest privileges of those who are fortunate to be citizens of the United States is the freedom to worship as we believe and to live in safety and security. We need to come together as a nation to protect these precious gifts for all members of all faiths,” said Rabbi Mark Dratch, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Council of America.