As Holocaust survivors, and descendants of Holocaust survivors, we are outraged and saddened that, once again, a Jewish community was brazenly attacked during worship services on Shabbat, which was also the last day of Passover, at the Chabad Community Center in Poway, CA. We send our deepest condolences to all affected by this tragedy, and prayers of healing and for a full recovery — refuach shelayma – to all.
Six months to the day after the murder of eleven Jewish worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, yesterday’s attack reminds us that hate and extremism targeting Jewish people is all too common. This latest attack also falls within days of Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, when our communities remember and pray for the victims of the Holocaust who perished, and convey the Jewish people’s determination not to forget their suffering and the hate that brought it about. Of course, we survivors don’t need to be reminded because we lived through it and are reminded every minute of the day.
Yet, 74 years after the end of World War II, yesterday’s attack in San Diego is another bitter reminder that anti-Semitism is a disease that will never disappear. We are not surprised because there is a dramatic rise in anti-Semitism throughout the United States and Europe. Not only are overtly anti-Jewish actions and rhetoric on the rise, but they are increasingly being tolerated in the guise of criticism of Israel.
Humanity tolerates all such hate, whether overt or disguised, at its peril. We appeal to everyone in our nation and throughout the world to respect each other as human beings, no matter our religious or political differences, and make a solemn promise to reject hatred and intolerance for the sake of each other, our families, and future generations.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS’ FOUNDATION USA:
Israel Arbeiter, Boston, MA
Dena Axelrod, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Renee Firestone, Los Angeles, CA
Annette Lantos, Wash. D.C.
Ella Frumkin, Los Angeles, CA
Jay Ipson, Richmond, VA
Louise Lawrence-Israels, Wash. D.C.
Herbert Karliner, Miami Beach, FL
Alex Moskovic, Harrisonberg, VA
David Mermelstein, Miami, FL
Leo Rechter, Queens, NY
David Schaecter, Miami, FL
Shirley Rubin, Boynton Beach, FL
Anita Schuster, Las Vegas, NV
Charles Srebnik, New York, NY
Agnes Vertes, Weston, CT
Esther Widman, Brooklyn, NY
Statement Endorsed by the Coordinating Council of Generations of the Shoah International (GSI)