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Let’s Share our Collective Love and Compassion

November 1, 2018

We honor the memory of victims of last Saturday’s horrific attacks on the Tree of Life, Dor Hadash, and New Light Congregations, and express our deepest sympathy to the families, friends, and congregants. We are forever grateful to the heroic first responders, police and clinicians who prevented further loss of life.

As an organization that is part of the Pittsburgh Jewish community, we received wonderful support from partners and friends across the country and world. It is a reminder that hateful acts can elicit boundless compassion.

This outpouring of love has convinced us that all communities who experience such tragedies must receive the same display of support and that we must speak out as a nation against hateful acts and rhetoric based on gender, race, religion, country of origin, status, and sexual orientation. Hate crimes over the last year saw an unprecedented rise; there were over 300 mass killings in the US. We have reached an inflection point, a moment when we must decide how we shape the kind of society in which we want to live. We have a choice.

Today, we urge all of us to stand with members of other communities that have also suffered or will suffer from traumatic acts of intolerance, bigotry, violence, and hatred. We think of the many horrific acts perpetrated in schools, places of worship, entertainment venues and shopping centers. The antidote to evil is active goodness, not silence or indifference. We were comforted immensely by such acts of loving kindness during the last few days.

We need to stand together now, speak up against hatred and ignorance, and create a community of love—one in which our varied backgrounds and beliefs are viewed as our greatest asset and a catalyst for change. Our biggest mistake would be to regard hatred and intolerance as inevitable. We have a choice.

                                         Karen Wolk Feinstein, PhD                             David H. Ehrenwerth            
                                         President and CEO                                            Board Chair
                                         Jewish Healthcare Foundation                    Jewish Healthcare Foundation