JCRC Condemns Heinous Act of Violence at Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh

October 27, 2018

Minneapolis, MN – Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement:

“The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) condemns the shooting at Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh, PA, killing at least eleven people and wounding six more during Shabbat services at the synagogue. We are deeply saddened by this unthinkable act of violence and we send our condolences to the families of the victims and the entire Pittsburgh community.

“Attacking people at prayer is a particularly heinous act.  This assault is a direct attack on Judaism and America’s Jewish community. This anti-Semitic hate crime is a sad reminder of our continued need to fight hate in every quarter and with every means.

“Police in Pittsburgh have confirmed they apprehended the shooter at the synagogue. Officials report at least seventeen (17) people were shot, including four (4) police officers. The shooter is reported to have made anti-Semitic comments during this act of violence and is known to have propagated anti-Semitic messages on social media.

“The JCRC continues to communicate with local, state, and federal law enforcement as it pertains to the Jewish communities of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The JCRC has also contacted Jewish organizations to provide up-to-date information about this incident and fulfill our mission of organizing Jewish community security.

“Finally, we thank law enforcement, both locally and in Pittsburgh, for their bravery and swift response to this incident.”

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As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights anti-Semitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.