Statement on the Attack on Congregation Chabad in Poway, California

Published Monday, April 27, 2019

We have been attacked yet again. A gunman with an anti-Semitic agenda has entered our house of worship to murder innocent people. An attack on any place of worship is an attack on all places of worship. This heinous act occurred on the last day of Passover, when Jews around the world retell the story of freedom from oppression. That freedom is fragile, and oppression in the form of hate is on the rise.

Places of worship should remain safe, welcoming and peaceful spaces of prayer and reflection. Worshippers at Congregation Chabad came under fire while celebrating their freedom and during Yizkor as they remembered loved ones. Lori Gilbert-Kaye, Z”L, was among those worshippers who lost her life while saving the life of another, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein. May her memory be a blessing. We pray for a speedy recovery of those injured and for all the Chabad congregants who witnessed yet another horrendous act of hatred.

Today, as we approach Yom Hashoah, we at Voices of Hope are filled with sorrow and anger over the attack on Congregation Chabad in Poway, California. Exactly six months ago, we offered our prayers for those lost in the attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue. These anti-Semitic attacks shake us to our core because we have pledged to ensure, as an educational organization, to teach our students to appreciate diversity, to practice empathy and to take a stand against hate, bias and intolerance.

The world needs to recognize the dangers of violent bias and hatred. We all need to take a stand, and Voices of Hope will continue our work to educate future generations to understand why “Never Again” is so important.