Jewish Federation of Central Alabama Statement on Pittsburgh Synagogue Tragedy 

October 27, 2018 
This morning, on this holy day of Shabbat—a day for rest and peace—a gunman entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and murdered eleven souls and injured others, including several law enforcement officers. 
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and with the entire Jewish community there as they attempt to cope with this unconscionable act of hatred and terrorism. 
We will be in touch with our partners at the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh to offer any support possible.
Tragedies like the one today remind us in the most horrific of ways that anti-Semitism and bigotry are not threats of the distant past, but a harsh reality that we must vigilantly guard against everyday. 
We are especially grateful for the protection local law enforcement in Central Alabama provides our congregations and community during various gatherings, whether it is Shabbat services, the High Holy Days or community events. 
As a people, we can respond to this hatred by continuing our unwavering commitment to fostering a more tolerant and peaceful world. This includes unequivocally condemning extremism and vitriolic rhetoric that perpetuates stereotypes, conspiracy theories and White nationalism that breeds intolerance of Jewish people. 
Reports indicate that a particular focus of the shooter’s hatred was the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society (HIAS), and just hours before the shooting reiterated his hatred of the group.
The Jewish Federation of Central Alabama has a proud history of providing support to HIAS.
In response to this tragedy we will continue vigorously living out—and supporting organizations who carry out—our most cherished ideals of chesed, tzedakah, and tikun olam – acts of loving-kindness, acts of charity, and working to repair the world for all. 
We wish all in our community and Jews throughout the world a peaceful rest of Shabbat and healing in the coming days, weeks, and months. 
Phillip Ensler, President,
The Jewish Federation of Central Alabama 
Tzlil McDonald, Executive Director
The Jewish Federation of Central Alabama