Three Pittsburgh Jewish congregations issue joint statement in solidarity with El Paso and Dayton after shootings | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Three Pittsburgh Jewish congregations issue joint statement in solidarity with El Paso and Dayton after shootings

click to enlarge A memorial after the shooting at Tree of Life synagogue - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
A memorial after the shooting at Tree of Life synagogue
In response to the shootings over in the weekend in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, which killed a combined 31 people, three Jewish congregations issued a joint statement expressing their grief. The three congregations, Tree of Life* Or L’Simcha Congregation, New Light Congregation, and Congregation Dor Hadash, all lost members or loved ones in the October 2018 shooting at Tree of Life.

"All of us feel the pain and loss of loved ones in the senseless murders of innocent people across the nation. We are heartbroken, again, by this weekend’s tragedies in El Paso and Dayton. It was approximately nine months ago that our community was targeted and affected by a hate crime," reads the statement.

The El Paso shooting in particular bears similarity to the Tree of Life shooting; both involved a shooter targeting a minority group, stemming from anti-immigrant sentiments. Tree of Life shooter Robert Bowers had posted on social media before the attack, expressing hostile views of immigrants and Jewish refugee aid organization HIAS before killing 11 people. The El Paso shooting suspect posted a racist and anti-immigrant manifesto before attacking a Walmart in the border town, which has a large immigrant population.


"Last October, these and other cities across America shared their love and support with the people of Pittsburgh as we lost members of our congregations and cared for others who were injured and survived," the statement continues.

"We know first-hand the fear, anguish, and healing process such an atrocity causes, and our hearts are with the afflicted families and those communities. We mourn with the families and friends of the victims and all the survivors in El Paso and Dayton. This epidemic of senseless acts of violence, prejudice, and terror must end."

The statement, including a version in Spanish, can be found on the Tree of Life Facebook page

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