NC Hillel Mourns Tree of Life Tragedy and Supports Students, Healing
Oct 30, 2018
North Carolina Hillel is horrified and saddened by the mass shooting on Shabbat morning at the Tree of Life, Or Chadash (New Light) and Dor Hadash (New Generation) congregations in Pittsburgh.
We stand together with Jews of Pittsburgh and Jewish communities around the country and the world as we mourn the senseless violence and murder of our people. Our prayers are with the victims and their families.
On campuses across North Carolina, we have opened our doors and our hearts to support students who need a place to grieve, to process what they have experienced, and to gather with friends and community. We are a home for many students who are away from their families, and with the support of Hillel staff and university counselors, we are available to assist students with whatever they need.
We believe the best way to combat anti-Semitism on campus is to build strong, engaging Jewish communities. We work closely with university administrators, student life officials and our religious campus partners to ensure the Jewish community is actively engaged and welcome on campus. On NC Hillel campuses, interfaith vigils to honor the victims and express solidarity have either already taken place or will take place in the coming days. We also honor their memories and values by celebrating Shabbat together.
NC Hillel is not only supporting students in mourning and processing; we are also identifying ways in which our students can take action to aid the Jewish community of Pittsburgh in its healing, including writing letters of support.
Of course, the safety of our students, professionals and community members is our top priority; to ensure their safety, we communicate regularly with campus security and local law enforcement partners. Our commitment to sensible security goes hand-in-hand with maintaining a welcoming Hillel space. We are grateful to law enforcement who have reached out to us locally, and to those who risked their lives in Pittsburgh on Shabbat.
Our tradition teaches that whoever destroys a single life is considered to have destroyed the whole world. On Shabbat, 11 souls were taken from us. 11 worlds were shattered, never again to be made whole. We are committed to keeping their memories alive in our hearts. May their memories be blessings for us all:
Joyce Fienberg, 75
Richard Gottfried, 65
Rose Mallinger, 97
Jerry Rabinowitz, 66
Cecil Rosenthal, 59
David Rosenthal, 54
Bernice Simon, 84
Sylvan Simon, 86
Daniel Stein, 71
Melvin Wax, 88
Irving Younger, 69
Baruch dayan haemet.