Dearest Members of the Jewish Community,
and all our Friends and Neighbors in New Jersey
It is with great pain and sadness that we stand today in solidarity with the family of congregants at the Chabad Center in Poway, California, whose holiday tranquility was brutally disrupted by the anti-Semitic shooting attack, fueled by hate and darkness.
No words can describe this horror and evil. Jews gathered to pray and celebrate Shabbat and Pesach were targeted for no reason other than the fact that they were Jewish. In Poway, Pittsburgh or Jerusalem, we are targeted simply for being Jewish – those who hate us do not differentiate based on “affiliations” or other labels. Our hearts are torn. An attack against any innocent person is an attack against all of us. An attack against any Jew is an attack against all Jews. An attack against a House of Worship in the United States of America is an attack against every American.
But at the same time, we must not give in to panic, bitterness, or self-pity. The Jewish people are a collective affirmation of life and this is a time to come together and recognize what unites us.
Please pray for the injured, including my colleague Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, Yisroel ben Chana Priva, Almog ben Sarah, and Noyah bat Eden, and for the family of Lori Kaye, of blessed memory, who lost her life in this vicious attack. Do an extra Mitzvah – a good deed – in memory of Lori, may G-d bless her soul, and in the merit of a speedy recovery for the injured.
Safety is our highest priority. Chabad at Rutgers staff has been in regular contact with the Governor’s Office, NJ Office of Homeland Security, New Jersey State Police, Rutgers University Police Department, and the New Brunswick Police Department to ensure that everything is being done to maintain the absolute highest standards of safety at Chabad House’s facilities. In light of yesterday morning’s attack, we will be reviewing all of our procedures and make changes or enhancements as necessary.
We are extremely grateful to Rutgers Police Chief Kenneth Cop and his department, who have already implemented patrols for the Chabad House, enhanced security measures and overall vigilance on our property. We are grateful to them always, doing everything in their power every day to protect and safeguard all students and citizens.
As we take steps to enhance our security measures and overall vigilance, may we also take practical steps to unify against hate. Let us all put forth an extra effort to spread love, respect, and kindness in our daily lives. A little light dispels darkness and love triumphs hate.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe always called for action and urged that we turn darkness to light. In the coming days, we will continue to offer practical suggestions of goodness and kindness in response to this attack.
Poway and the entire world needs our prayers and Mitzvot “good deeds” more than ever! Say a chapter of Psalms in memory of and in honor of the victims, hug your loved ones, speak out against hate and intolerance and prioritize your life to focus on meaningful living.
May the “Guardian of Israel who neither sleeps nor slumbers” bring comfort to the victims’ families and their community, and bring protection to us all.
Thank you to everyone who reached out with concern, love and care. Your friendship is truly felt and appreciated.
We are currently planning a Community-wide Unity Gathering at Chabad House on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at 7:00 PM. More details to follow.
In the merit of our collective mitzvot, may we each bring much comfort and peace at this extraordinarily challenging time.
G-d bless America. Am Yisrael Chai. Moshiach Now!
Rabbi Yosef Carlebach
Founding Rabbi and Executive Director
P.S. If there is any way we can be of assistance during this difficult time, please don’t hesitate to get in touch-that’s why we’re here.
We sincerely thank those families which have come forward to contribute toward the cost of the upgraded security apparatus. If you are able to contribute toward this important cause, please do so at firstname.lastname@example.org and thanks!
If you would like to speak with Rabbi Yosef Carlebach or Rabbi Mendy Carlebach about this project please email email@example.com or call 732-296-1800 or 732-433-5800
“May He Who makes peace in Heaven bring peace upon us and upon all Israel, Amen!”