Pittsburgh Jewish community reaches out to Christchurch shooting victims

The Pittsburgh Jewish community, who are no strangers to sorrow brought about by the hands of a white supremacist, reached out to honor and respect the victims of the Christchurch shooting.

March 18, 2019 12:03
1 minute read.
Pittsburgh Jewish community reaches out to Christchurch shooting victims

Relatives and family members of Naeem Rashid who was killed along with his son Talha Naeem in the Christchurch mosque attack in New Zealand, pray during a condolence gathering at the family's home in Abbottabad, Pakistan March 17, 2019. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Members of the Pittsburgh Jewish community reached out to the family members and friends of the Muslims who were shot last week in a racially driven shooting in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. 

At least 50 people were killed and 50 wounded, in the hate-filled terror attack.
“Unfortunately, we are all too familiar with the devastating effect a mass shooting has on a faith community,” said Meryl Ainsman, the chairwoman of the board of the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh, to NOW Magazine.

Ainsman was referring to the October attack on Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue. During Shabbat prayers, a white supremacist entered the facility and opened fire, killing 11 worshipers.

“We are filled with grief over this senseless act of hate,” she continued. “May those who were injured heal quickly and fully, and may the memories of the victims forever be a blessing.”

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh decided to start collecting donations for Christchurch’s Muslim community.

“New Zealand may be halfway around the globe, but it’s the same story of hate and violence against people peacefully praying to their Creator,” said Marnie Fienberg, whose mother-in-law was one of the 11 Jews murdered in the Tree of Life shooting.

“I wish I was there to comfort the families and help support them in their pain and agony,” she continued. “I can’t stop crying for those left behind, especially the children – children who are old enough to understand that there is loss, but don’t understand the meaningless and utterly insane hatred that spawned it.

“No one – no matter one’s religion, age, color, anything – should be harmed in any way while peacefully praying in a house of worship,” Fienberg concluded. 

“To the families that are reeling, I want to say that we in the Jewish community are your siblings; we are all children of Abraham. We are appalled at this attack and mourn your loss deeply. We pray for peace, and I personally will pray today that your families are sitting beside Allah in paradise.”

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