In October 2018, 11 Jews were murdered and six were wounded during Shabbat morning services, among them Holocaust survivors. The Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting marked the deadliest antisemitic terrorist attack on American soil, a turning point in the uncertain reality facing American Jewry. Our parents and grandparents sought refuge in America—Golden Medina, the Land of Opportunity. But five years ago, our community was violently awakened: even here, antisemitism kills.
According to the Anti-Defamation League’s “Antisemitic Attitudes in America: Topline Findings,” antisemitism plays an increasing role in our culture and politics—and it isn’t just confined to the periphery. Antisemitism has gone mainstream. 1 in 5 Americans believe Jews have too much power. 1 in 5 Americans believe Jews “don’t care about anyone but themselves.” 2 in 5 Americans believe that American Jews are more loyal to Israel than they are to the United States.
Today, the Pittsburgh assailant was found guilty of capital offenses. We hold space for the families of the victims, for whom a court decision will never return the lives of their loved ones. And we think of the survivors, whose strength reminds us that in the face of darkness, our community is everlasting. Though the future of American Jewry remains uncertain, we are reminded that antisemitism crumbles under the heels of justice.