UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)'s statement on today's shooting in Pittsburgh Synagogue
UJA Federation and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) are shocked and saddened by the loss of life and injuries resulting from this morning’s hateful act of antisemitic violence at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Our thoughts, prayers, and deepest sympathies are with the victims, their families, and all those affected by this despicable and cowardly attack. We hope and pray for the speedy recovery of the innocents injured, including heroic first responders.
As the attack was unfolding, UJA Federation and its advocacy agent, CIJA, as well as the National Community Security Program (NCSP) team were in direct contact with Canadian law enforcement and tracking the situation closely.
Canadian law enforcement reacted quickly and decisively to this situation, and for that we are grateful. While there is no information whatsoever to suggest an elevated threat to Jewish communities in Canada, we have confirmed a bolstered police presence and increased patrolling in the vicinity of Jewish facilities by Toronto Police Service, York Regional Police, and in other cities across the country. We continue to remind our community leaders that it is important to remain vigilant and to ensure that existing security protocols are being followed.
UJA Federation and CIJA will be in ongoing contact with synagogues, schools, Jewish community centres, and other community institutions, to ensure they are updated. If anything should change, we will inform the community.
The rise of antisemitism, the world’s oldest form of hate, remains a serious concern. It is particularly egregious that this vile act of antisemitism targeted Jews while at prayer on the Sabbath.
Our community is resilient.
In response to hate, we will continue to live our lives as Canadian Jews who proudly contribute to our shared society. We will continue to congregate at synagogues, Jewish Community Centres, and engage in communal activities with pride and resolve.
Tonight, we join Pittsburgh and stand together with Jewish communities around the world in mourning the lives taken.
May their memory be for a blessing.