On Shabbat, on the last day of Passover, a gunman opened fire at the Chabad of Poway in California.
Exactly six months after the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, we mourn another victim — Lori Gilbert-Kaye, who was murdered attempting to protect her rabbi. May her memory be for a blessing.
Our hearts are broken as we enter another mourning period in the wake of antisemitic violence in our houses of prayer.
This violence, driven by hatred and bigotry, must end. The shooter in Poway has also claimed responsibility for an arson attack on a nearby mosque last month. Americans, Jewish and all others, deserve to be safe, and we deserve elected leaders who care for our lives.
Acts of white nationalist violence are sadly not ‘hard to believe,’ as President Trump said in response to the shooting. Not when white nationalism has been mainstreamed in American politics. Not when this hatred has been emboldened through radical policies, which harm the same communities targeted by white nationalists.
Our hearts are broken, too, for our country: as Black churches and mosques burn, as Muslim people are banned, as LGBTQ people are pushed out, as immigrants are held in cages.
We will never stop rising up together, in solidarity, to fight for our collective safety. Thank you for being part of a movement that is building solidarity within our Jewish community and with our allies to to defeat white nationalism and to bring into being a multi-racial democracy where all of us can live, love and thrive.
As Jewish communities across the country organize in response to the Poway shooting, and all white nationalist violence, Bend the Arc will be there and we will communicate ways you can participate and support.
Stosh Cotler, CEO