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A Message from Howie Sniderman, member of the International Executive Committee of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism


Following is a note from our movement:


Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh, while a Conservative movement congregation, is not currently affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) as is Beth Shalom here in Edmonton. That, of course, is of no never mind when it comes to a horrific situation like the one that unfolded in Pittsburgh on Shabbat. Rabbi Steven Wernick (USCJ’s CEO) and Margo Gold (USCJ’s President) are both currently in Israel, but a joint statement was released under their names on Saturday evening. Here is the statement:

  1. United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and our network of Conservative Jewish communities across North America are heartbroken and devastated by the horror of the shooting and murder today at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh. We grieve for those who died and pray for the recovery of those who were wounded, extending our condolences to all their families and friends.

We are outraged by the hatred this senseless act demonstrated, and distraught by the bloodshed brought once again by gun violence. As our Torah teaches us, we are each responsible for one another, and commanded to honor the image of God in one another. Our sense of justice compels us to address the core issues facing not only the Jewish people but all people in our country in pursuit of a civil society.”

Andy Schaer serves with me on USCJ’s International Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Andy lives in Pittsburgh and, together with Leslie Lichter, USCJ’s Chief Operating Officer who flew in from her home in New York, they have represented our movement at vigils held in Pittsburgh over the past 48 hours. I have expressed sorrow & condolences to Andy on behalf of our Beth Shalom Congregation, that he will pass on to his grieving community.





Sun, 20 September 2020 2 Tishrei 5781