Statement by IJC President Vladimir Sloutsker on the shooting attack on San Diego Poway Synagogue:
“We are devastated and deeply saddened to hear the news of the shooting attack on the Chabad Synagogue in Poway California, which claimed the life of a 61 year old woman and left several others, including the Synagogue Rabbi and a child injured.
They were targeted for one reason and one reason only – they were Jews.
This act of pure evil was made even more horrific by the fact it came as congregants were gathered to celebrate the end of the Jewish holy period of Passover and Shabbat.
First and foremost, our thoughts are with the family of Lori Gilber Kaye, who was murdered in the shooting attack. We grieve for her loss and wish that her memory always be a blessing. We also pray for the full and speedy recovery of all those injured.
We take this opportunity also to reaffirm our unwavering solidarity with out brothers and sisters in San Diego and the American Jewish community, who are forced to respond to yet another Antisemitic act of murder, six months to the day after the Pittsburg Tree of Life of Synagogue massacre.
We take some measure of comfort though in the words of Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, the Rabbi of Poway Chabad Synagogue, that was attacked. Even after being shot (and losing two fingers), he continued his sermon & stood before his congregants, saying “WE ARE STRONG! WE ARE UNITED! THEY CAN’T BREAK US!” THIS is the Jewish spirit. This is the ultimate embodiment of Am Yisrael Chai!
Lastly, we wish to reiterate that murderous attacks like the one on the Chabad Synagogue do not occur in a vacuum. Vile Antisemitic cartoons, like the one that appeared in the New York Times only days before, as well as language from elected officials and others in leadership positions, that use Anti-Zionism as a cover for their Antisemitism, only contribute to this climate of hate and incitement, and that ultimately lead to violent actions like we so tragically saw in the attack on the Chabad of Poway.
Enough is enough! No more excuses! This hate must be rooted out at its core and Jews, like all members of all religious faiths, must be able to practice freely and safely wherever they so choose and in the manner they desire. The Israeli-Jewish Congress (IJC) will always stand shoulder-to-shoulder with out American brothers and sisters in this battle.”