One Year Since Tree of Life Synagogue Tragedy, Gottheimer Emphasizes Fight Against Anti-Semitism and Hate

Oct 27, 2019
Press

Jewish community stands in solidarity to remember Pittsburgh tragedy, raises collective voice against hatred

 Above: Gottheimer addresses Temple Israel for second annual #ShowUpForShabba

A year ago this weekend, the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the United States took place, tragically taking the lives of eleven people during Shabbat morning services at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. On Saturday, October 26, 2019, remembering a year since the attack, the lives lost, their families, and those who were injured, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) delivered the keynote address at the American Jewish Committee’s #ShowUpForShabbat at Temple Israel.

In the days following the October 2018 tragedy, millions of people of all faiths rallied to #ShowUpForShabbat, filling synagogues across the nation and the world in what became the largest-ever expression of solidarity with the American Jewish community.

Gottheimer was joined this weekend to mark the second annual #ShowUpForShabbat by American Jewish Committee – New Jersey Regional Director Rabbi David Levy, Temple Israel Rabbi David Fine, Ridgewood Mayor Ramon Hache, and others.

“It is important to mourn and to remember, but we are also gathered here to show that we are not scared or afraid. We stand, together, as one community,” Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) said in his address. “We have much more work to do in the fight against anti-Semitism, and all forms of hatred, but we must not be silent about the rising tide of bias and hatred here at home, or the rhetoric that we know has lifted the lid on extremism and anti-Semitism across the country. We cannot abandon our core values as a country.”

Gottheimer continued, “As Jews, we are called upon to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. These are not just Jewish values, they are Jersey values, and they are American values. As we look back on those our community lost in Pittsburgh, may their memories truly be a blessing.”

Gottheimer recently announced that eight temples and churches throughout New Jersey’s Fifth Congressional District received new Nonprofit Security Grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for Fiscal Year 2019, through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The grants provide security for certain tax-exempt organizations that are at risk of a terrorist attack from homegrown and lone wolf, ISIS-inspired terrorists.

These grants go toward strengthening the National Preparedness System, which consists of identifying and assessing risk, estimating capability requirements, building and sustaining capabilities, and planning to implement, validating, and reviewing and revising those capabilities.

Gottheimer has worked closely with counties, towns, and nonprofits to help apply for and win competitive federal security grants, clawing back our federal tax dollars to fight homegrown terror.

Below: Ridgewood Mayor Ramon Hache, AJC Regional Director Rabbi David Levy, Congressman Josh Gottheimer, and Temple Israel Rabbi David J. Fine.

Below: Gottheimer signs AJC #ShowUpForShabbat poster.

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