When the World No Longer Feels Safe
We are absolutely heartbroken by the mass murder this weekend during a weekly Shabbat service at Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh. The American values of diversity, strength, and inclusion are under attack. Sacred spaces – schools, churches, synagogues – have become targets of unspeakable violence. The hateful rhetoric on social media and in our political discourse is normalizing the dehumanization of refugees, people of color, Jews, and many others.
JWI stands against hate and works every day to end violence of any and every kind. Anti-Semitism has no place in the free world – particularly America. As a nation of immigrants, our diversity is our strength. JWI is proud to stand with organizations like HIAS, whose work affirms the Jewish community’s commitment to resettle refugees so that families escaping war, famine and poverty, can build a better life.
It is impossible to ignore the gun violence epidemic in our country. This year alone there have been 297 mass shootings. The gunman in Pittsburgh used four firearms – three pistols and an assault rifle – to murder 11 innocent people and terrorize an entire community. The answer to gun violence is not more guns. Contrary to what the President has said, more armed security guards will not make us more safe. Rather, we need comprehensive measures to prevent gun violence: mandated background checks for all firearms purchases; a ban on assault weapons; and a way to keep guns out of the hands of individuals at risk of harming themselves or others – particularly those convicted of dating violence.
We all have powerful feelings at this moment. The time to express them is November 6th – Election Day. Show up and send a clear message by electing officials and voting for ballot initiatives that can change our nation’s trajectory. Choose representatives who believe in fairness and decency, commonsense gun violence prevention, and initiatives that work to end hate and violence.
Violence and hatred never win, but they can inflict lasting damage. Now it’s up to all of us to end anti-Semitism – to end all forms of hatred – and create a more compassionate and humane world.