JCFS Statement on Attack in Pittsburgh


Jewish Child & Family Services and HIAS Chicago are heartbroken by the abominable act of hate that took place at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh. HIAS Chicago's work, fueled by the Jewish values of Tikkun Olam (the repair of the world) and Hachnasat Orchim (welcoming the stranger), will not succumb to fear, but continue to support refugees and immigrants from all parts of the world. Alongside our partners in the Jewish community, we will work to heal the hate that has blanketed both our country and the world.

With strengthened resolve, we will not let events like this get in the way of our mission: to raise our voices in support of refugees and asylum seekers; and spread a message of welcome and love.


Our hearts are with all of those impacted by the violent and cowardly act perpetrated on the Pittsburgh Jewish community on Saturday morning. In this period of crisis, it is essential for the Jewish community and all those who believe in the rights and dignity of others to raise our voices in a call to action.

In the coming days, weeks and months there will be opportunities for us to express our collective grief and hope for a better world. The first chance comes on Thursday, Nov. 1 at noon. The Jewish Federation will convene an Interfaith Solidarity Gathering at Loop Synagogue, 16 S. Clark St., Chicago. Organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council.

Friday, November 2 and Saturday, November 3

At the initiative of JUF's Rabbinic Action Committee and The Chicago Board of Rabbis, synagogues across the nation will observe a special Solidarity Shabbat, coming together across denominations to pray, to mourn, and to strengthen one another. We hope you will find it meaningful to participate with local congregations.

Friday, November 2, 6 pm

West Suburban Temple Har Zion, 1040 N. Harlem Avenue, River Forest

West Suburban Temple is partnering with their friends at Oak Park Temple and inviting the wider community of congregations to join them for a Solidarity service in soulful celebration of Shabbat, and to pray, sing and worship together.

Saturday, November 3, 11:30 am

Anshe Emet, 3751 N. Broadway, Chicago

The Sanctuary service will conclude with words of Torah, prayers of comfort, a recitation of the names of the dead and an opportunity to say Kaddish for them as a community. They will likewise be honored at the end of Rose Crown Minyan services, before Mourner's Kaddish, in Malkov Chapel.

Sunday, November 4, 2 pm

West Suburban Temple Har Zion, 1040 N. Harlem Avenue, River Forest

Rabbi Yoel Glick will lead a spiritual workshop, 'Finding Wholeness in a Broken World.'  This is an opportunity to explore different strategies for turning our brokenness into wholeness and bringing healing and repair to our lives. There is an $18 fee. Register here

Our colleagues at JFCS in Pittsburgh have asked us to reach out to the global community to write letters of support to the bereaved and injured victims and their families. Please share the attached link to write a letter with your communities: jfcspgh.org/communitysupport.

Below you'll find a few links to resources which we have found to be very helpful when talking to children about terrorism and anti-Semitism.  We are also including resources for supporting adults and older adults.