We have experienced a tragedy. Eleven innocent human beings killed for being Jewish. This has been a convulsive tragedy for our community.
We are shaken, yes, but we are not surprised, for antisemitism in America is on the rise -- a 57 percent increase in reported antisemitic events last year, according to the Anti-Defamation League. We are also not surprised because we are uneasily aware of that narrow fringe within our land – a slim population of hate crusaders – who are encouraged by vicious on-line communities. Finally, we are not surprised because we have become all too accustomed to mass murders, perpetrated with the aid of fast-shooting weapons designed to increase carnage -- and sadness.
And so we are shaken, but we are resolute and unbroken. Our congregation -- indeed, our people -- will move forward, taking measures to protect ourselves while continuing to lives as American Jewish fully and proudly.
Rabbi Jeffrey Weill