April 29, 2019 – The following is a statement from NCJW’s National Office:
The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is saddened by the shooting of Jews worshipping on Passover and outraged by the continued gun violence in this country. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:
“Today we mark the 6 month anniversary of the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, in which 11 Jews worshipping lost their lives due to a shooter who had no business having a gun. Unfortunately, we mark this anniversary in almost the exact same way — with a shooting at Chabad of Poway, California. We are heartbroken for the families, friends, and community who gathered to worship and celebrate the end of the Passover holiday.
“As we learn more about the shooting, it’s clear it will be investigated as a hate crime. Like the Tree of Life shooting, those shot today while celebrating the end of the Passover holiday were at the mercy of a gunman who shouted, “All Jews must die.” The rise in anti-Semitism in the United States is nothing short of alarming. Hate crime incidents targeting Jews and Jewish institutions in the US spiked about 37 percent between 2016 and 2017, according to the FBI. Religious-based hate crime comprised about 20 percent of the total. The FBI data shows Jewish people and institutions were most frequently targeted, accounting for 58.1 percent of religious-based hate crime incidents. Muslims were the second most frequent target, at 18.6 percent. Add the ease and accessibility of firearms and you’ve got a deadly mixture.
“From Pittsburgh to New Zealand to Sri Lanka to California, no one should have to fear for their lives when they enter their house of worship. When one community is targeted, we are all targeted.
“NCJW calls on the administration and Congress to condemn today’s shooting in the strongest way, to stop emboldening White Supremacists and their ilk, and for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to schedule votes on S 42 as well as HR 1112 — measures passed by the House that would help keep our communities safe.”