Here is this week’s update from Masorti’s Jewish Pluralism Watch.
Our regular JPW Update keeps us informed on what’s happening in the Knesset on issues of importance to Masorti–inclusiveness, pluralism and democracy consistent with Jewish tradition. This week’s report begins, sadly, with stunned reactions from Israel’s leadership to the murder of Jews at the Conservative Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, together with strong statements of solidarity.
On Saturday, October 27th, 2018, a gunman opened fire at Tree of Life Congregation, a Conservative synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, during the Shabbat morning prayer service. According to reports, the shooter barricaded himself in the synagogue after murdering eleven people and wounding several others.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud): “I am heartbroken and disturbed by the murderous attack on the synagogue in Pittsburgh. The entire people of Israel mourns with the families of the fallen. We stand with the Jewish community of Pittsburgh, and we stand with the American people against this brutal act of anti-Semitism. We all pray for the quick recovery of the wounded.”
Minister of Education and Diaspora Affairs MK Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home): “I will fly tonight to Pittsburgh, as Minister of Diaspora Affairs, in order to support our Jewish sisters and brothers in their hardest of moments. When Jews are murdered in Pittsburgh, those in Israel are in pain, for all Jews are responsible for one another. The State of Israel mourns and aches from this horrific murder. May the memory of the murdered be blessed.”
Opposition Leader MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union): “When we feel the pain of our brethren in Pittsburgh, we must remember that we are all one family. Jews from all streams. The shooter was not concerned by whether they were Orthodox, Reform, or Conservative, and we must open our arms to them here in Israel, as well.”
MK Yael Cohen Paran (Zionist Union): “The news of the terrible event in the United States reached me as I was participating in a conference of the Conservative movement in London. We were all horrified. It seems that this is the worst attack in the history of the Jewish community in the United States. As a member of the Masorti (Conservative) movement as as one in consistent contact with Jews outside of Israel, my heart and prayers are with the families of the murdered, the wounded, and with the Jewish community of the United States. Tree of Life Congregation, where the massacre took place, is one of the largest Conservative synagogues in the United States. I am simply aghast and in pain. I am sorry if this is a difficult time to say this, but to those who claim that members of the Conservative movement are not Jewish enough, here is harrowing proof of their Judaism, written this time in blood.”
MK Elazar stern (Yesh Atid): “I would like to remind us all that this horrible murderer did not distinguish between Conservative, Orthodox, and Reform Jews. A Jew is a Jew is a Jew, not only in death but also in life, and we should remember this as we approach the challenges ahead of us. I call upon the Prime Minister to approve the Western Wall agreement this very morning as a statement of solidarity in these difficult times.”
Jewish Pluralism Watch / JPWatch joins in the sorrow of the Tree of Life community