We are again in mourning, this time for the death of one Jewish worshiper and the injuries of several others at the hands of a white supremacist attacker. Chabad synagogue was observing the last day of Passover during this hateful attack. Passover is the seven-day Jewish holiday commemorating the story in Exodus where God saved the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. This attack occurred exactly six months after the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for which we are also still mourning. It is clear this was another intentional act of violence by a white supremacist, one of many that have cost the safety and lives of Jews this year alone.
On the same day, also in California, a man deliberately drove his car into eight pedestrians because he thought they were Muslim. A thirteen year old girl was the most seriously injured in the incident and is currently in a coma with severe brain trauma. Three other adults were injured and are in the hospital as well. This horrific act, too, is in line with rises in hate crimes against Muslims across the world.
We offer our thoughts and prayers to Jews and Muslims during this time. Attacks like these cause tremendous despair for communities who face rising threats to their safety, and we are all hurt by the compromised safety of our neighbors. We are aware that hate crimes are becoming increasingly common, and that many, if not most, are inspired by white supremacist ideology and rhetoric. We refuse to normalize these attacks, and reiterate our commitment to protecting the safety and freedom of religious and racial minorities in our own community and worldwide. We encourage students, faculty, and staff to take care of themselves and reach out for support during this time.