On Saturday morning, 27 October 2018, a gunman opened fire at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, killing 11 people.
“The horrific act of terror that took place on Saturday at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in Pittsburgh has left all Jewish communities, both in the US and abroad, in a state of absolute shock. 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,” WJC President Ronald S. Lauder said in the aftermath of the shooting.
“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.”
Amb. Lauder and a WJC delegation are on the ground in Pittsburgh this week to stand in solidarity with the community.
We invite you all to send your condolences or light a virtual candle in memory of the victims in the comments sections below.
The vicitims have been identified as: Joyce Feinberg, 75, Rich Gotfried, 65, Rose Malinger, 97, Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, Cecil Rosenthal, 59, David Rosenthal, 54 (brothers) ,Bernice Simon, 84, Sylvan Simon, 86 (a married couple), Daniel Stein, 71, Melvin Wax, 88 and Irving Youngner, 69.
Messages of suport and sympathy have been received from around the world.
UN Secretary Antonio Guterres said "The shooting in Pittsburgh is a painful reminder of continuing anti-Semitism. Jews across the world continue to be attacked for no other reason than their identity. Anti-Semitism is a menace to democratic values and peace, and should have no place in the 21st century".
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was “heartbroken and appalled by the murderous attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue”
European Comission President Jean-Claude Junker "Horrified by Pittsburgh shooting. My thoughts are with the victims and their families. The European Commission stands in solidarity with the community of the synagogue of Pittsburgh and all Jewish communities around the world".