In the aftermath of the deadly shooting massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder warned of the rising tide of anti-Semitism and exclaimed, “We will not let terror win.”
“We have long warned about the sharp rise in antisemitism, on both the far-right and the far-left and have prayed that the many incidences that we have witnessed of late, of vandalism and desecration of property, would never end in loss of life,” Lauder stated.
“This Shabbat, our worst nightmares came true. Innocent people were killed and wounded for the simple crime of being Jewish. This was an attack specifically targeting the Jewish community, in a deliberate and callous manifestation of antisemitism and hatred, and it should serve as a wake-up call to all Americans that such horror can and has happened here. We must be vigilant in making sure that this never happens again.”
Lauder commended the Pittsburgh police department for their swift response and clarified that it is “the responsibility of governments and all official authorities to ensure that the Jewish communities, and their institutions, are secure and protected.”
The Jewish leader highlighted the “moral obligation to stand up and strongly condemn every form of antisemitism or xenophobia as it rears its head.”
“We must be united in unequivocal denunciation and clear in our message that we will not let terror win,” he stated.
The World Jewish Congress represents Jewish communities and organizations in 100 countries worldwide.
Other major U.S. Jewish groups also expressed horror over the shooting attack in which Robert D. Bowers of Baldwin, Pa., has been charged with murdering 11 people and wounding six others.
“The sanctity of the Sabbath was shattered today, a solemn reminder that we Jews, even in the U.S., must be constantly vigilant,” American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris stated. “We mourn with the families of the victims, pray for the full and speedy recovery of the wounded, and stand in solidarity with the entire Pittsburgh Jewish community.”
“The callousness of a bigoted individual intent on destroying innocent lives in a house of worship should unite Americans in anger and determination to confront the toxic hatred and extremism in our country,” continued Harris.
The Jewish Federations of North America, which represents 300 Jewish communities in North America, stated: “We’re horrified and saddened by the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh. Our prayers are with the victims, their families and the entire Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh community.”
The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh mourned the losses. “Our hearts are broken. A Refuah Shlema [swift recovery] for those sick and injured. We will do everything possible to help.”
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt stated, “It is simply unconscionable for Jews to be targeted during worship on a Sabbath morning, and unthinkable that it would happen in the United States of America in this day and age.”
“Our hearts break for the families of those killed and injured at the Tree of Life Synagogue, and for the entire Jewish community of Pittsburgh,” Greenblatt said.
Greenblatt added: “We believe this is the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States. We are actively engaged with law enforcement to support their investigation and call on authorities to investigate this as a hate crime.”