Dear TBC Family,

It wasn't until I finished this morning's Bat Mitzvah service that I heard about the devastating violence in Pittsburgh.   As I write this message, the media is reporting that twelve people were shot during a service at Tree of Life Congregation.  The assailant has been taken into custody, and the shooting is being investigated as a hate crime.

I am shaken, horrified, and heartbroken by this attack.  It is beyond imagining.

In the hours since the shooting, our congregation has been in touch with the police departments of both Redding and Wilton.  In addition to these phone calls, I personally spoke with a uniformed police officer who drove over to the temple to make sure that we were ok.  

The Redding Police Department will be sending an officer to be with us during Sunday School tomorrow morning.  This officer's presence stems from an abundance of caution rather than any specific threat to our community.   As always, I am grateful to our local police departments for their concern and protection.  

I am also grateful for the friendship of our local interfaith communities.  I have heard from many of my colleagues this afternoon- all of whom have sent their love and support to the TBC family. 

As many of you know, over the last several years, we have devoted significant time, effort, and resources to ensuring that we are safe at our synagogue.  We will continue to partner with local police departments and other experts in the field as we evaluate our current procedures and work to make our community as safe as possible.  We will, of course, make sure to share information about these conversations and any changes we decide to make to policy or practice.

As we approach these final hours of Shabbat, we pray for the speedy recovery of those who were injured, and we mourn the loss of those who were killed.  

Chazak. Chazak. V'nitchazek.
Be strong. Be strong. And let us strengthen one another.

-Rabbi Rachel Bearman