In response to the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, below is a statement from our Executive Director Bob Joondeph:
We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families of the 11 individuals whose lives were extinguished as they worshiped in the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and to the many other individuals who were injured in the attack. Our thoughts are also with the members of the Pittsburgh Jewish community that was targeted and the Jewish communities here in Oregon and across the country who must live with heightened fear.
In this dark moment, our hearts were deeply touched by the stories of David and Cecil Rosenthal, brothers and two of the victims who lost their lives in the attack. David and Cecil experienced developmental disabilities. They also lived independently and were part of the fabric of their tight-knit community. Their lives embody the idea of belonging and give us a glimpse of the brighter world we strive to build – a world in which everyone can participate and people are not excluded because they have a disability.
Hate-fueled violence and attacks have become far too common in our country. We must recognize a shared responsibility not to fuel or encourage them. In the spirit of unity and healing, we stand arm in arm with all peoples against anti-Semitism, against racism, against bigotry, against xenophobia and against ableism. We stand for the human dignity of each and every individual. Regardless of how we look, how we worship, where we come from, or whether we need accommodations or supports to go to school, get a job, or live on our own, each of us possesses intrinsic human value. We stand together against hate.