We are all devastated by the senseless loss of lives in the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. This heinous slaughter was more than an act of terrorism and anti-Semitism. It is a manifestation of the growing cancer within our society that has erupted in our most sacred spaces: schools where our children should feel safe, places where we worship — mosques, churches and synagogues.
We mourn for lives lost but we also mourn the loss of civility, common decency, respect for each other’s differences, tolerance, security and the values of shared humanity that hold our nation together.
As we struggle to rise above partisanship and the divisive climate that engulfs our better selves, we must rise to the task of healing our world by guarding the values that make us a great nation. In times of crisis, we must build bridges between faiths, cultures and peoples to create a better world.
We are a resilient people. We have survived worse threats and overcome racial hatred and intolerance. We have stood up for those without power. We have a responsibility to care for our fellow human beings.
We honor the memory of those we lost by doing all we can to repair our world.
This moment is a challenge to each of us and we must do what we can and be equal to the task!
President, Board of Trustees
The Russell Berrie Foundation