Houses of worships – for all faiths and traditions – should be safe spaces for every person. As Jews, we know how terrifying and horrifying it is to be targeted with violence because of who we are. We are heartbroken and saddened to learn of the murders at the two New Zealand Mosques today. We have reached out to leaders of our Muslim community to express condolences for the senseless loss of life as well as to show support to them, our neighbors and friends.
Over the past several months the Jewish Federation has actively engaged our multi-faith clergy leaders and have been working towards community programming that will address and combat all forms of hate. We are looking for opportunities to build new friendships and have productive dialog. Today more than ever, we must come together as Chattanoogans – as humans – to have compassion, understanding and respect for all people. We very much look forward to building and strengthening our relationships with each other.
May the memory of those murdered be a blessing to their loved ones and may their families find comfort and support from their community, country and all of us around the world. May this Sabbath be one of peace for all people – of any faith and of no faith – and may we all strive to treat every person as a creation in G-d’s image.
Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga
Austin Center, Board Chair
Michael Dzik, Executive Director