Tragedy at a Pittsburgh synagogue

The senseless killings of 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh over the weekend horrified and deeply saddened us all. Although there is geographical distance between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, at this moment we are one people, united by grief. I know I speak for everyone in the Temple community when I extend our deepest sympathies to the families, friends and fellow worshipers at the Tree of Life, as well as the entire Pittsburgh community. Please keep the victims and their loved ones in your thoughts and prayers. 

We condemn all acts of violence, anti-Semitism, racism and similar kinds of intolerance; they are antithetical to Temple’s mission and most fundamental values. Over the weekend, the university reached out to the leaders of our Jewish communities (including Hillel and Chabad) and offered them our support services for students and others who may have been affected by these frightening events. Temple staff members are available to serve our students, faculty and staff who are in need of support. Please do not hesitate to make use of the expertise of the Tuttleman Counseling Services. In addition, our Campus Police stand ready to provide services 24 hours a day, every day. 

Temple shows its greatest strength when its students, faculty and staff come together. Today at 5 p.m. at the Bell Tower, the heart of our campus, the students of Hillel at Temple and Chabad at Temple are hosting a Solidarity Gathering for the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue attack. All are encouraged to “come together in honor of the victims and in hope of healing.” Please join me in attending and showing our support. 

Richard M. Englert