People gather at a vigil to mourn for the victims of the Christchurch mosque attack in New Zealand at Washington Square Park, New York City..
(photo credit: RASHID UMAR ABBASI / REUTERS)
Representatives of Jewish institutions and organizations from around the world condemned the attacks, including the World Jewish Organization, The Zionist Federation of Australia, the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the Chief Rabbi of the UK, and others.
The Zionist Federation of Australia posted a statement on its website calling on Jews to think of the families of the victims over Shabbat.
“As Jews we know all too well what it is like to live in fear,” said the ZFA.
“The Tree of Life massacre in Pittsburgh is still fresh in our minds. We demanded action then and we demand action now. The Jewish community stands with the Muslim community in this shocking act of terror and racially motivated hate crime. May their memories be a blessing.”
Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog said that “The Jewish Agency and the NZ Jewish Council stand in solidarity with the bereaved families” and that “We are united in fighting violent hatred and racism.”
Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis declared the attacks to be “terrorism of the most despicable kind,” which he said were “callously planned and motivated by the scourge of Islamophobia.”
World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said he was “horrified” by the attacks.
“I extend my deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the victims, and to the people of New Zealand. We must redouble efforts to combat hatred and division in our societies, from wherever it emanates.”
The Conference of Preisdents in the US said it was “outraged by the horrific attacks” and extended condolences to those who lost loved ones.
“Such outrages cannot be tolerated in any civil society,” said Chairman Arthur Stark Executive Vice Chairman/CEO Malcolm Hoenlein.
“We hope that those who are responsible and those who aided and abetted them will be brought to justice. All people of good will must join in condemning this barbaric act.”
In the US, both the Conservative and Reform Judaism movements released statements condemning the attacks.
“As we mourn this senseless loss of life, we hold our Muslim family in our hearts and commit to stand with them during this painful time – including by visibly and vocally showing up in solidarity,” read a statement from the Reform community.
The Conservative movement said, “We wish comfort to our Muslim brothers and sisters, partners in faith, and to all those whose lives will be impacted by this tragedy,” “We pray the families of the deceased find peace and that the wounded recover fully and speedily. When a gunman attacked the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, the local mosques there were among the very first to help. Once again, we stand stronger together.”
Jewish communities in New Zealand closed down synagogues on Shabbat on advice of Police for security reasons. Synagogues and the Jewish school will also be closed on Monday.
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