Apr 30, 2019
Standing Strong with San Diego and Against Hatred
Once again, our community and our Jewish family stand together in grief, in fear and in outrage as we reel from the shooting at Chabad of Poway near San Diego. This latest attack in the chilling escalation of religious violence that marks our time again targeted our Jewish brothers and sisters at shul. Exactly six months after eleven were murdered at prayer in Pittsburgh, the peace of Shabbat, along with the end of Passover, was again shattered in an instant by a self-proclaimed, proud anti-Semite with an assault rifle.
As Jews, we know all too well the depths to which extremism, religious hatred and xenophobia can plummet. Though always on our minds and in our hearts, these memories are even sharper this week as we commemorate the millions lost on Yom HaShoah.
There is more than ample evidence that anti-Semitic and other hate-filled rhetoric and deeds based on religion have been sharply increasing in the U.S. and globally. Amid a plethora of less publicized incidents, just a week ago, hundreds were killed in bombings on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka. In March, 50 people were killed at two mosques in New Zealand.
Our hearts, our prayers and our tears are with the family of Lori Gilbert Kaye, who was murdered while protecting her rabbi, and with the three wounded, their loved ones and all those most directly stricken. But this heinous act assaults all of us who abhor the messages and incitements they broadcast, and who value freedom and civil society. May Lori’s memory always be for a blessing, and may her bravery serve as another call to action.
Let us continue to face up to the real dangers at hand for our people and other vulnerable groups. Let us continue to implore leaders to implement sufficient safeguards, and to join in unequivocally condemning the now commonplace open expressions of hatred, the intolerable bloodshed and the existential threat they represent. Let us use these atrocities to bring our community together, toward bringing this dark era to a close.
We also take this opportunity to assure you that the security, safety and well-being of all those on our campus are, as always, our Federation’s utmost priority. The schools, offices and agencies, and all areas on our Federation campus are continually guarded by a highly skilled and continuously prepared security force that is fully aware and vigilant each and every day. Our gated and secure campus is monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and our security undergoes ongoing improvements through training, personnel, technology and other equipment. Our Federation continually works closely with local, county and state departments as well as the Department of Homeland Security for optimal information and readiness.