We Stand With Pittsburgh

Mar 13 2019

Congregation Temple Beth-El consists of people from all walks of life and from many different geographic areas.  The following statement from AJR (Academy for Jewish Religion) is consistent with the sentiment felt by many of us  regarding the recent horrific acts of terror and hate witnessed at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue.  It is posted with their kind permission.

Dr. Lawrence H Seitelman

President and Trustee,

Congr. Temple Beth-El

Greetings!

The Academy for Jewish Religion mourns the tragic loss of life in the horrific hate crime carried out in Pittsburgh this past Shabbat. We stand with Temple Tree of Life, the larger Pittsburgh Jewish community and Jewish communities throughout the world as we confront this unspeakable horror perpetrated against innocent individuals engaged in prayer and conversation with each other and with the Divine.

This is not the first act of violence that stems from and speaks to the tremendous polarization in our country. We struggle to make sense of this tragedy, and as we do so, some of us are led to our polarized corners. We all have strong feelings, and there is legitimacy and possibly hope in many of our reactions.

At this moment, however, we at AJR stand as a bastion of pluralism in the midst of a divided country. We cherish diversity and the other, we strive to understand each other and we actively push each other to think outside our own boxes and our own bubbles. Therefore we do not take this opportunity to cast blame on various segments of our society beyond the individual perpetrators of these crimes. We come forward at this time to say that we believe in a world where our strength can stem from our diversity, and where our willingness to speak with and engage with the “other,” each of us created in the Divine Image, is a first step toward healing and hope.

Dr. William Liss-Levenson
Chair, Board of Trustees

Dr. Ora Horn Prouser
Executive Vice President

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