- JFCS News
- Grief & Bereavement
Dear JFCS community,
We are all full of sorrow in the wake of the terrible loss of life and hateful act of anti-Semitism at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. We send prayers for strength and healing to those who are suffering, and we are grateful for the expressions of support echoing across the country and the world at this difficult time.
At this time we remember the words of President George Washington, who wrote to one of the first US synagogues—the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island—in 1790:
“May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants: while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid. May the father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths.”
Recognizing the continued existence of racism, persecution, and anti-Semitism in this country, the Jewish People have nonetheless enjoyed a more liberated life in the US than at almost any other time in our 3,500-year history. We are a particular people with a universal mission. JFCS’ humanitarian work is a vital part of that mission, and in the wake of the Pittsburgh tragedy we renew our dedication to moving this imperfect world in a better direction.
We remain committed to our efforts to bring people together to fight prejudice, racism and anti-Semitism at home and around the world. The JFCS Holocaust Center offers resources for students, educators, and the entire community on standing up courageously against hate and intolerance.
JFCS also provides resources and guidance for talking to children about anti-Semitism and hate crimes. For anyone experiencing trauma, grief, or bereavement from this event, JFCS is here to support you. Through Parents Place, our specialists provide coaching, consultations, and specialists who work with children and families.
As individuals we are resilient, and as a community we are even stronger. Thank you for being part of our valued community.
With gratitude and warm regards,
Dr. Anita Friedman
Jewish Family and Children’s Services