Los Angeles, CA: "When an attack actually takes place in the perimeter of a house of worship, it's a source of deep concern," Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center told KTTV.
Early October 29, 2009, Maor Ben-Nissan and Allen Lasry were shot as they entered their place of worship, the Adat Yeshurun Valley Sephardic Synagogue in North Hollywood, California. Both victims were taken to hospital, underwent surgery and are in stable condition. The gunman fled the scene and investigations are underway. The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and its agencies mobilized soon after the shooting to both alert and calm the Jewish community.
“The Jewish Family Service has dispatched counselors to work with young students at Adat Yeshurun, the Board of Rabbis is in touch with its congregational members, and the Bureau of Education is coordinating with Jewish schools in the Los Angeles area,” said John Fishel, the Federation’s president.
Although it is still unclear if hate is the motive for this crime, an attack like this can make an entire community feel vulnerable.
“No worshiper -- whether Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Sikh, or other-- should be made to feel unsafe or intimidated at a house of worship. We also appreciate the LAPD's investigation and enhanced security in response to the attack." said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the LA chapter of CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. CAIR, like many other organizations and people, have made public statements that condemn today’s shooting and offer messages of support. Actions like this reinforce that when a crime happens in a particular community, it happens to everyone.
What can all of us do to send a message of support to the shooting victims and to Jewish congregations throughout Los Angeles?
In the comments field below, please share your message of support, or a story about how you or your community responded in the wake of an attack against people who were attacked because of their race or religion.