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American Jewish Leaders Reflect on the Fifth Anniversary of Tree of Life Massacre

New York, NY…Harriet P. Schleifer, Chair, and William Daroff, CEO, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, issued the following statement:

“Five years ago, on October 27, 2018, the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh became a site of one of the worst tragedies in American Jewish history when an antisemitic gunman claimed the lives of eleven innocent people. In the wake of this act of hatred, we witnessed remarkable resilience from both the Jewish and Pittsburgh communities, and a momentous demonstration of solidarity against antisemitism.

“As we commemorate the victims who lost their lives in the deadliest act of antisemitic violence in American history, we sadly acknowledge that acts of Jew-hatred do not occur in a vacuum. The last few weeks’ events have demonstrated that antisemitism has yet again become all too normalized, not just amongst far-right extremists but also in the arts, public school classrooms, college campuses, and on social media.

“After October 7th, the worst massacre of Jews since the Shoah by Hamas terrorists, it is critical that the American Jewish community project strength through unity to defend our community and values from the threat of antisemitism in all its forms. Jews are still mourning the loss of over 1400 Israeli civilians slaughtered by Hamas, yet the world blames Jews. This leads directly to violence against Jewish people and must be condemned by Jews and non-Jews alike.”

“May the memory of the Tree of Life Synagogue victims continue to be for a blessing. Our thoughts, prayers, and deeds are with the Pittsburgh Jewish community, the people of Israel, and all our fellow Jews around the world at this difficult time.”

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