The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) this week issued the following statement in the wake of yesterday’s deadly shooting at a synagogue north of San Diego. A man entered Chabad of Poway during the morning services on the last day of Pesach and began shooting, killing one congregant and wounding several others, including Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, the synagogue’s spiritual leader.
“The National Council of Young Israel condemns the evil terrorist attack at Chabad of Poway and we extend condolences to the family of Lori Gilbert-Kaye, who was struck by a bullet and killed after jumping in front of Rabbi Goldstein in a valiant attempt to save his life. She was a remarkable heroine and her memory will be for a blessing. Rabbi Goldstein, who may lose a finger due to an injury suffered during the attack, displayed extraordinary courage, as did the congregants of Chabad of Poway. We thank the off-duty officer and all law enforcement personnel who responded to the scene for their quick apprehension of the terrorist, whose goal was not just to cause terror at Chabad of Poway, but to get others to emulate him. We wish Rabbi Goldstein, as well as 8-year-old Noya Dahan and her uncle Almog Peretz, a full and speedy recovery.
“With this being the second deadly shooting attack on a synagogue in the United States this year, we ask for assistance for our synagogues in their attempts to increase security, including the need for armed guards during their main services. Hatred does not just occur within a vacuum. We call on a crackdown by university campuses against intimidation aimed at Jewish students, including eviction notices put on their dorm room doors, and request that universities make this type of bigoted action a code of conduct violation leading to suspension and potentially expulsion. In addition, we call on The New York Times, as well as all media outlets, to institute new policies in order to prevent the publication of a vile anti-Semitic cartoon in their newspaper, and to understand that a simple retraction is wholly insufficient. The Jewish community is the subject of the most hate crimes in the United States, and all areas of society, including those in Congress, can speak and act in a way so as to change the language of hate, and not just condemn hate, but take actions against hate.
“We thank the President and all those in Congress for their well wishes, and hope that this is the last such attack we will see on a synagogue.
“May G-d comfort the family of Lori Gilbert-Kaye among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.”