22 H eshvan 5779
October 27, 2018
Dear Temple Emunah Family,

We are troubled, outraged and devastated by the horrific terrorist attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.  We send our love and support to the members of our sister Conservative/Masorti shul. We mourn those murdered in this horrific attack, send prayers for healing to the wounded, and thank the courageous first responders.  
We should note that this attack was motivated by HIAS’ (formerly the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) National Refugee Shabbat that we participated in last week -- a stark reminder that hatred of the Jewish people is linked to hatred of immigrants and strangers.  The Torah teaches us a different path -- that we are “to love the stranger for we were strangers in the land of Mitzrayim .” (DT 10:19)  HIAS has been instrumental in helping both Jewish and non-Jewish immigrants for well over a century.
At a time like this, we join together as a community.  This Saturday, November 3, I urge all of you to show that we are not afraid to gather as Jews in our own sanctuary.  It is clear that today’s murders are a hate crime, a violent act of anti-Semitism by a white nationalist with too easy access to an AR-15-style assault rifle and other weapons.  At Shabbat services we will remember those who were killed, and will demonstrate that we will not succumb to hate or terror. In addition, we encourage participation in our daily minyan and other programs throughout the week.
Tomorrow, Sunday, October 28th, the Boston Jewish community will be gathering at 2 PM at the Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common.  Join the CJP, JCRC, the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts, the MBR and the ADL for a vigil for the victims from the Tree of Life Synagogue.
Finally, as a community, we take our safety and security very seriously.  Over the past few years, our Security Committee has put some very robust procedures and highly trained personnel in place.  Some of what we have established is conspicuous, while other measures are (purposely) behind the scenes.
We are also in constant communication with local, state and federal law enforcement, and are not aware of any specific threat in our area or to our Synagogue.  Nonetheless, you will likely notice an increased security presence in the coming weeks, both to bring comfort to our community as we process this tragedy, and to provide an extra layer of protection as we review the policies and procedures we have in place.  
Please contact me, Raveetal Celine or either of the co-chairs of the Temple Emunah Security Committee, Michael Roskind or Adam Samansky, with any questions or concerns.  
Judy Zola, our president, and Rabbi Michael Fel join me in sending prayers for healing and consolation,

Rabbi David Lerner