The official response of the Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish movement to a deadly attack on one of its synagogues in Poway, California, on Saturday praised America for its “values of tolerance and lovingkindness.”
The statement, issued after the end of the Jewish Sabbath and the conclusion of the Passover holiday, called the rise of antisemitic violence a “destructive scourge that threatens the core values of this country,” but noted that the U.S. has been exceptional in its resistance to antisemitism: “Let us remember that while primitive hatred against Jews was allowed to fester in many other countries, ultimately to the detriment of all their citizens, America’s values of tolerance and lovingkindness, and its commitment to law and order have been its greatest assets,” the statement reads.
The full statement is as follows:
Upon the close of the Sabbath and Passover holiday in New York, we learned of the shooting at Chabad of Poway, in San Diego. The murder of an innocent woman and the wounding of several others who were celebrating their faith in the synagogue, on the terra firma of our freedom-loving country, is appalling and heartbreaking.
We extend heartfelt sympathy to the family of Lori Gilbert-Kaye upon their terrible loss. We mourn with you in your time of grief.
Our prayers for a speedy recovery to Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein and the others who were viciously injured by the shooter.
We are grateful for the heroic efforts by individual(s) in the synagogue blocking the shooter from inflicting further injury and preventing greater loss of life.
We are thankful to the California Highway Patrol in San Diego for their quick response in apprehending the shooter.
Chabad-Lubavitch is an integral component of Jewish communities in every one of the states, in hundreds of communities nationwide and in Jewish communities throughout the world. Our regional representatives are very concerned for the safety of every Chabad House/Center, and we are grateful for all the support by city and state agencies who work closely with them toward enhanced security measures.
Anti-Jewish violence in the United States has now risen to a level that cannot be ignored or dismissed. We appeal to members of government on the local state and federal level, media agencies, school teachers, college professors and university leaders to lead responsibly and take the initiative to uproot the destructive scourge that threatens the core values of this country.
Let us remember that while primitive hatred against Jews was allowed to fester in many other countries, ultimately to the detriment of all their citizens, America’s values of tolerance and lovingkindness, and its commitment to law and order have been its greatest assets.
“The alarm bells of recent events are ringing, and we call upon leaders from across all political divides to stop the dangerous, downward spiral of anti-Semitism,” said Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky.
“In the spirit of Passover, the Festival of Freedom, may we each commit to work to bring security, healing and unity to our fractured nation.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.