Jewish Leaders Reflect on Three Years Since 10.27 Synagogue Shooting

New York, NY

. . . Dianne Lob, Chair, William Daroff, CEO, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice Chair, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, issued the following statement marking three years since the 10.27 massacre:

"Three years ago, an armed, white supremacist stormed the Pittsburgh Synagogue that housed the Tree of Life, New Light and Dor Hadash congregations, striking fear into the heart of the Pittsburgh, as well as, Jewish communities across the country. This unspeakable act of violence, driven by bigotry and antisemitism, cut short the lives of eleven peaceful worshipers in the single deadliest attack against American Jews in U.S. history.

"In the years since the shooting, we have witnessed the inspiring courage and resilience of the congregations. In 2018, we gathered to commemorate the innocent lives lost in the attack, lighting candles to honor their spirit and legacy, which will never be extinguished by violence, and we resolved to root out the forces of racism, bigotry, and antisemitism.

"As leaders in our community, we have a significant role to fulfill the solemn promise of Never Again. This year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation published its 2020 hate crime statistics and again found that Jews comprised the most-targeted religious group in the country. From addressing acts of individual hate speech, to challenging state-organized actions, we must act decisively and immediately to prevent the cancer of antisemitism from infecting and festering in our society.

"We applaud the Eradicate Hate Global Summit 2021, which we participated in last week and which brought leaders together at every level to address the root causes of extremist hate and incitement to violence. We maintain unwavering support for initiatives that protect the rights of our community and others to gather freely and securely, particularly the Secure Community Network, as well as Congressional efforts to substantially increase security funding for non-profits and houses of worship.

"We are further encouraged that 51 of our member organizations have adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism. They have joined the ever-expanding community of nations, organizations, universities, cities, towns, and sports teams that recognize the need to better define antisemitism in order to combat it.

"On this solemn anniversary, we strive to honor the sacrifice of those lost by recommitting to meeting the challenges before us. May their memories and those of all the victims of hatred and bigotry forever be for a blessing. And to their families and loved ones, may the Almighty continue to comfort you among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem."

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