Our hearts break at the murders of eleven worshippers at Shabbat services at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and of the shooting of the police sent to protect them this morning. We express our horror and grief at this hate-filled act that strikes at the heart of our American tradition of compassion and respect for the dignity of every human being.

The killer used the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) that historically has reached out to immigrants and settled refugees in the United States as his foil for his anti-Semitic outrage, the worst attack on Jews in American Jewish history, but we express our pride in the good work that HIAS has done over the past century in fulfilling Emma Lazarus’s expression of our national commitment to welcome the tempest tossed to our country.

We want to assure our community that we have tightened security and had the LAPD in addition to our own security with us this morning at services. Our first obligation is to the safety and security of our community.

Recent events in our country have challenged our democratic values and institutions and our nation as a force of love and goodness in the world. Our community at Temple Israel is committed to combatting this destructive negativity and indecency. Please know that all of us are here for you as a source of comfort and moral support.

We will convene together at 9:30 am tomorrow at Temple Israel for prayer and solidarity if you would like to join us.

We send our condolences to the families of the victims and hopes for the complete healing of those injured.

May the souls of those lost today be bound up in the bonds of eternal life.


Senior Staff of Temple Israel of Hollywood and our Board President