Response to California Synagogue Attack
Jewish Community Relations Council and the Jewish Federation and The Jewish Community Foundation of the East Bay unequivocally condemn today’s terrorist attack at the Chabad of Poway, just outside of San Diego, which targeted Jews during sabbath services on the final day of Passover. The Bay Area Jewish community is horrified by this latest extremist attack, just six months after the massacre at the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue. With deep sorrow and pain, we send condolences to the families of those injured and killed, and share in the sadness of the entire Chabad community.
Hate crime targeting Jews and Jewish institutions in the United States spiked 37 percent between 2016 and 2017, according to FBI data, and remains at an all time high. The combustible combination of anti-Semitism and unfettered access to assault weapons has put the Jewish community at increased risk in the very place where we should feel most secure, our houses of worship.
We are deeply troubled by news reports that the 19-year-old suspect in today’s attack left behind an anti-Semitic, Islamophobic manifesto in which he claims responsibility for an Escondido mosque arson attack one month ago and inspiration for today’s attack from the mosque massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand.
As Passover — the Jewish holiday commemorating freedom from slavery — comes to a close, our Bay Area Jewish community recognizes that freedom will come in many forms: We will live in a freer, safer society when all communities root out extremism and hatred, and when assault weapons are prevented from getting into the hands of those who seek to murder Jews and other minority groups. We must stand together as never before against bigotry, incitement and violence.