UA-78503712-1 Solidarity with Tree of Life Mourners

…an inclusive community
responding to God’s love…

We mourn with our sisters and brothers of Pittsburgh's Tree of Life Synagogue, with our neighbors at Temple Beth Israel and with all Jews whose sense of safety has been shaken by recent events.

This text comes from the World Council of Churches:

28 October 2018

World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit expressed heartfelt sympathies to the Tree of Life synagogue and to the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) after a gunman shot and killed 11 people and injured several others during a baby naming ceremony on 27 October.

"We convey our grief and condolences to the families, the synagogue, and the city of Pittsburgh for the shocking violence and loss of life,” Tveit said.

Among the wounded were four police officers responding to the incident.

"We are conscious of both the short-term trauma and the long-term grief this situation poses for you," Tveit said. "We pray that the God of life will lend you strength and wisdom and will bless the synagogue and all of Pittsburgh with comfort and consolation, healing and help in the days ahead.”

The attack is believed to be the worst antisemitic violence in recent US history.

“Antisemitism is a sin against God and humanity” said Tveit, recalling commitments expressed by the WCC since its foundation in 1948. “The WCC denounces all violence based on religion, ethnicity, race or any other dimension of a person’s identity or belonging” Tveit stressed, “and this attack upon a Jewish community in a place of prayer and during a moment of celebration of their religious identity is an appalling violation of our shared humanity.”

“We stand with you in sorrow, and in forging the way ahead for unity, justice and peace," Tveit wrote in a letter of condolence. "We pray that God will lend you strength and wisdom, even as you grieve."

The following is part of a text received from a campaign fighting gun violence:

Saturday morning, during a Shabbat service at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, a gunman filled with hate opened fire killing 11 innocent people practicing their faith in a sanctuary of peace.  Six additional people were injured, including four courageous law enforcement officers.
Our hearts go out to the Jewish community and all of Pittsburgh as they mourn the loss of these innocent souls..
We remember the victims of this heinous hate crime whose ages' ranged from 54 to 97.
* Joyce Fienberg, 75
* Richard Gottfried, 65
* Rose Mallinger, 97
* Jerry Rabinowitz, 66
* brothers Cecil Rosenthal, 59, and David Rosenthal, 54
* married couple Bernice Simon, 84, and Sylvan Simon, 86
* Daniel Stein, 71
* Melvin Wax, 88
* Irving Younger, 69
This hate crime was made possible by the dangerous political climate in our country, where tolerance and respect for others is waning.  As we have seen so many times before, one of the weapons recovered was a military-style assault rifle - the weapon of choice of mass shooters and one that causes great devastation and places law enforcement in particular danger because of its firepower.…

The World Council of Churches has sent the following condolence letter:

28 October 2018

World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit expressed heartfelt sympathies to the Tree of Life synagogue and to the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) after a gunman shot and killed 11 people and injured several others during a baby naming ceremony on 27 October.

"We convey our grief and condolences to the families, the synagogue, and the city of Pittsburgh for the shocking violence and loss of life,” Tveit said.

Among the wounded were four police officers responding to the incident.

"We are conscious of both the short-term trauma and the long-term grief this situation poses for you," Tveit said. "We pray that the God of life will lend you strength and wisdom and will bless the synagogue and all of Pittsburgh with comfort and consolation, healing and help in the days ahead.”

The attack is believed to be the worst antisemitic violence in recent US history.

“Antisemitism is a sin against God and humanity” said Tveit, recalling commitments expressed by the WCC since its foundation in 1948. “The WCC denounces all violence based on religion, ethnicity, race or any other dimension of a person’s identity or belonging” Tveit stressed, “and this attack upon a Jewish community in a place of prayer and during a moment of celebration of their religious identity is an appalling violation of our shared humanity.”

“We stand with you in sorrow, and in forging the way ahead for unity, justice and peace," Tveit wrote in a letter of condolence. "We pray that God will lend you strength and wisdom, even as you grieve."