Yesterday’s ultimate sacrifices by Police Officer Wenjian Liu and Police Officer Rafael Ramos were an all-too poignant reminder of the courage and professionalism demanded of every member of the NYPD when they put on their uniform and go out to protect the communities that they serve. We join in the grief felt by their immediate families and that is shared by every one of their brothers and sisters in blue.
The callous execution of these two officers was an outrageous attack on every value that we hold dear. In this atmosphere of heated rhetoric we should all remember two important principles: words do matter and can have ominous consequences and most significantly, the lives of all, do matter.
The JCRC-NY announced a fund to benefit the families of the two officers brutally murdered on Saturday. Miller explained, “This horrible and tragic event affected all New Yorkers. Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos made the ultimate sacrifice. We hope that people will join us in our wish to assist their families as they try to rebuild their lives. In this small way we can honor their service and the dedication and courage of all of the men and women of the NYPD.”
The JCRC-NY will transmit 100% of the proceeds to the Silver Shield Foundation, which has been helping the families of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty since 1982, as its conduit. It was initially established by the Steinbrenner family.
Anyone wishing to contribute to JCRC-NY’s Fallen Heroes Fund can do so athttps://jcrcny2022.wpengine.com/donate, designating that the funds be directed to the Fallen Heroes Fund.
ELECTED OFFICIALS – PDF Link
President Obama: I strongly condemn today’s terrorist attack on worshipers at a synagogue in Jerusalem, which killed four innocent people, including U.S. citizens Aryeh Kupinsky, Cary William Levine, and Mosheh Twersky, and injured several more. There is and can be no justification for such attacks against innocent civilians. The thoughts and prayers of the American people are with the victims and families of all those who were killed and injured in this horrific attack and in other recent violence. At this sensitive moment in Jerusalem, it is all the more important for Israeli and Palestinian leaders and ordinary citizens to work cooperatively together to lower tensions, reject violence, and seek a path forward towards peace.
Sen. Charles Schumer: These outrageous murders are caused by the reckless incitement, not only of Hamas, but of Mr. Abbas and the Palestinian Authority; they are co-conspirators in the murder of these four religious teachers and rabbis. Their dishonest inciting of Palestinians is resulting in the death of innocent people, and it must stop. While Mr. Abbas has condemned this appalling act of hate, he must take immediate action to de-escalate the dangerous polarization. ________________________________________
Rep. Charles Rangel: My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the families who were impacted by this atrocity that took four innocent lives. I am deeply saddened to hear of such egregious act of terror at a place of worship and mourn for the victims. There is absolutely no place nor time for any attack on innocent civilians.
I regret that the tragedy in Jerusalem comes at a particularly tense time in Israel and the region at large. It follows a series of turbulences that have already brought suffering to so many people.
This senseless violence at the synagogue reminds us of the importance of fighting against terrorism to ensure global peace and stability. We must not give up on working harder with partner countries to prevent such crimes against humanity.
Rep. Eliot L. Engel: I’m outraged by today’s brutal terrorist attack in Jerusalem, which took the lives of four people including three Americans. My heart goes out to their families.
Once again, an act of terrorism hits home for our community; one of the victims had family in Riverdale. They are my constituents and my friends, and they have been forced to bury a lost loved one. No family anywhere should have to endure such a tragedy.
Murdering innocents and using terrorism as a political tool will never succeed in bringing about a Palestinian state. Killing worshipers at prayer is an inhuman act for which there can never be a justification.
This attack underscores the grave challenges to the peace process. How can Israel make peace when its citizens are slaughtered in holy places? How can Israel negotiate with a partner whose leaders incite this sort of violence? When Palestinian leaders should be denouncing violence, we hear instead calls for ‘days of rage.’ Rather than condemning these cowardly acts, Hamas leaders are celebrating in the streets.
This must stop. A Palestinian state will never be born on the backs of terror victims.
Rep. Jerry Nadler: The terrorist attack in Jerusalem was a horrific act of brutality & evil. Thoughts & prayers are w/the victims & families.
Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney: I am deeply saddened by the horrific attack that took place this morning in Jerusalem. It is appalling to consider that terrorists attacked people as they were praying in a synagogue and that Hamas has applauded the brutal actions of the terrorists. The murderers who stole the lives of four Rabbis, including three U.S. citizens, and injured eight others must be brought to justice. I pray for the families of all those affected and for peace.
Rep. Joe Crowley: Today’s attack at a Jerusalem synagogue is both heinous and indefensible. There is absolutely no justification for this reprehensible act of violence which took the lives of four innocent people including three Americans. I stand with the international community in condemning this attack and my heart goes out to the families of the victims during this incredibly trying time.
Rep. Jose Serrano: I am extremely saddened to learn of the terrorist attack that took place this morning at a synagogue in West Jerusalem and ended the lives of four innocent individuals, three of whom were Americans. I utterly condemn this horrific and senseless act. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their loved ones, everyone present at the incident, and the Israeli people.
Rep. Steve Israel: Heartbroken about heinous terror attack on worshipers in Jerusalem today. We #StandWithIsrael always
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney: This morning, four innocent people were horrifically murdered as they gathered together in a place of worship. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the rabbis. This act of terror must be condemned by Palestinian leadership – there’s simply no place for this brutal violence.
Rep. Michael Grimm: This vicious rampage against peaceful worshippers once again shows the true depth of Hamas’ savagery and the threats facing our Israeli allies and Jewish Americans abroad. Now more than ever, the Israeli people deserve to know that they have our full, unwavering support in combating these horrific attacks on their very way of life. I pray for these victims and their grieving families, especially for our fellow Americans brutally murdered in the attack, and look forward to swift justice to all terrorists seeking to harm innocent Jewish lives.
Congressman-Elect and NYS Senator Lee Zeldin: I am deeply appalled and saddened by the tragic and senseless acts of terror at a Synagogue in Jerusalem, which took the lives of four innocent people, including three Americans. I am praying for all those affected by this horrific act of violence. My thoughts are with Israel and the Jewish Community. An attack on Israel is an attack on America. We must stand together with Israel now more than ever.
NY Governor Andrew Cuomo: I am deeply saddened to learn of this morning’s horrific terror attack at a synagogue in Jerusalem. This attack was a deplorable act of evil that should be denounced as such by all – regardless of their political or religious beliefs. I want to reiterate that friends stand together in times of crisis. Today New York joins with all of Israel as they mourn those that were lost. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our Israeli friends.
NYS Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli: Our thoughts and prayers are with Israel, our great friend and ally, following today’s appalling terror attack that killed four people at prayer in a synagogue. Such an act of depraved violence has no place in our world and deserves everyone’s condemnation and repudiation. We stand with the Israeli people and share their grief.
NYS Senate Leader Dean Skelos: The horrendous terror attack today at a synagogue in Jerusalem should be condemned around the world. This despicable action by cowardly terrorists cannot and should not be tolerated. I have seen the threats Israelis face first-hand, and I know their strength will help them overcome these attacks on their people and faith. It is more important than ever that New Yorkers stand with our friends in Israel and support them in this time of great sadness.
NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver: The deplorable attack at a Jerusalem synagogue this morning is heartbreaking and should serve as a stark reminder of the existential threat faced by Israel. To attack and murder those who are worshipping, which is the ultimate act of peace, reveals the depth of the hatred, insanity and cowardice that defines terrorism. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and all of Israel during this terrible time.
NYS Senator Jeff Klein: The horrific synagogue attack in Israel once again demonstrates the disgusting and despicable tactics used by those who would seek to paralyze Israel and the world in fear. I mourn with Israelis and Jews across the globe over these senseless acts of violence in such a sacred space and stand in solidarity with Israel today and always. My heart and my prayers are with the families of the four innocent victims lost in the attack, especially the family of Riverdale resident and religious leader Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt of the Riverdale Jewish Center, whose brother-in-law Rabbi Moshe Twersky was killed.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio: I am horrified and heartbroken by today’s terror attack in Jerusalem, which took the innocent lives of four people. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families. New York City stands in solidarity with Israel at this difficult time, and we hope and pray for a peaceful and secure future for all of its people.
The NYPD is in close contact with its liaison post in Israel. We have increased our police presence at synagogues and other key locations around the city. As always, we ask New Yorkers to stay alert and immediately report any suspicious activity.
NYC Public Advocate Letitia James: I am deeply troubled and saddened by today’s terrorist attack in Israel that killed four innocent people worshiping in a synagogue. There can never be any justification for violence against innocent civilians. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and the nation of Israel. The people of New York stand in solidarity with Israel and continue to pray for peace and security in the region
NYC Comptroller Scott M. Stringer: The brutal terrorist attack inside an Israeli synagogue is a despicable crime that has no place in any civilized society. A place of prayer is sacred and those who are ultimately responsible for this atrocity must be brought to justice. My thoughts are with the families of the victims, and I stand with them, along with the people of Israel and New York City, as we mourn this tragic, unspeakable loss.
NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Jewish Caucus: New Yorkers awoke today to the sickening news of a terrorist attack by Palestinians on a Jerusalem synagogue, resulting in the murder of four fathers–three Americans. The victims of this barbaric attack leave behind between them 20 children and 15 grandchildren. We join with leaders from around the world in condemning these murders as an intolerable depravity. Our thoughts and prayers are with the many who were injured, some of whom are fighting for their life.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.: I condemn this heartless act of violence in Israel and stand in solidarity with the families of the victims. To have committed these brutal murders in a house of worship is appalling and I, along with all people of conscience, denounce these horrendous acts. I send my prayers to the families of the four rabbis killed and will continue to pray for peace in Israel.
INTERFAITH STATEMENT – PDF Link
We as religious leaders of different faiths unequivocally condemn the despicable attack this morning by terrorists on worshipers in a Jerusalem synagogue. There can be no justification for this cold-blooded murder of innocents, which tramples on the sacredness of human life. The fact that this crime was perpetrated in a place of prayer, which should always be a venue of peace and love, deepens our anguish.
We further protest the use of inflammatory language that contributes to the climate of violence. We must not be silent spectators in the face of such hateful rhetoric.
Our common religious heritage teaches us that every human being is created in the image of God. Let us honor our Creator, by ensuring that religion serves not as a weapon that maims and destroys, but rather as a sacred vehicle that heals and uplifts.
The Prophet Jeremiah proclaimed, “There is hope for thy future.” (31:16) We will witness the fulfillment of these words when we bring hope and healing in the present to the human family.
We offer our prayers and condolences to the grief stricken families of the victims as they mourn such an unspeakable loss of life.
His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York
Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner
President, New York Board of Rabbis
Spiritual Leader, Temple Emanu-El of Closter, NJ
Imam Shamsi Ali
Chairman, Al-Hikmah Mosque in Astoria
Director, Jamaica Muslim Center in Queens
Reverend A.R. Bernard
President, Council of Churches of the City of New York
President, Christian Cultural Center
Rabbi Joseph Potasnik
Executive Vice President, New York Board of Rabbis
Imam Askia Muhammad
Doctoral Student, New York Theological Seminary
Bishop Robert Alan Rimbo
Metropolitan New York Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Rabbi Michael Miller
Executive Vice President & CEO,
Jewish Community Relations Council of NY
Reverend Chloe Breyer
Executive Director, Interfaith Center of New York
Reverend Robert Stearns
Founder and Executive Director, Eagles Wings
Rabbi Eric J.Greenberg
Director of Communications, Programs & Interfaith Relations
Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees in Jordan
Dr. Paul de Vries
President, New York Divinity School
Reverend Marcos A. Miranda
President, New York State Chaplain Task Force
Press Release – PDF
The Jewish Community Council of New York (JCRC-NY) is horrified by the assault on Leonard Petlakh, Executive Director of Kings Bay YM-YWHA, on October 7, 2014 outside of the Barclays Center, after a basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and Israel’s Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv.
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution enshrines the right to freedom of speech. However, under no circumstances does the Constitution grant the right to engage in violence against individuals with whom one disagrees , regardless of the emotions that may surround personal, local, national, or global issues.
JCRC-NY will not stand idly by and permit rank bias and hatred against Jews — or other groups — to become normative in the City of New York. Indeed, we have no tolerance for intolerance and remain all the more committed to fostering harmony among the diverse population that resides in the metropolitan area.
It’s reassuring that the brutal attack on Mr. Petlakh is being actively and aggressively investigated by the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force. We look forward to an expeditious arrest of the perpetrator(s) of this heinous crime and expect that they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
We wish Leonard and his family well and remain disturbed that his two young children witnessed this attack on their father. It is our hope that the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrator(s) will achieve some measure of justice for them all.
Anyone with information about this assault should contact NYPD Crimestoppers at 1-(800) 577-TIPS. Your identity and information will be kept anonymous.