Response to Synagogue Shooting in Poway, California
Today we're grieving with the Jewish community of Poway, California (close to San Diego), in the wake of a synagogue shooting at a Chabad. An attack on one Jewish community is an attack on us all, regardless of denomination or affiliation.
So far one woman has died, and three others are injured, including a teenage girl and two adults. One of the injured adults is Rabbi Goldstein, the Chabad shaliach, who appears to have engaged with the shooter, stopping further bloodshed. As a result of his heroism, he is recovering from a gunshot wound to his hand. Even with his injury, he spent time comforting and calming his congregation until the paramedics and first responders arrived.
Take some time today to pray for a speedy recovery for the injured, and for comfort to the families who are mourning today. We will soon learn the name of the woman who was murdered. May her memory be for a blessing.
Pray especially for the Messianic Jewish community of Kehilat Ariel, a UMJC member congregation only 20 minutes away from Poway. Ask God to comfort and reassure the congregation in this time of grief, and to guide them with wisdom as they show love and solidarity to the wider Jewish community in their area.
Since the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh 6 months ago, the Union has dedicated significant time and resources to helping our member congregations upgrade their own security systems and teams, through training programs, webinars, and grants.
Why is this so important? Because Messianic Jews are not immune to the recent and troubling rise in American anti-Semitism. People who hate Jews don’t care whether some of us believe in Yeshua. Anti-Semites hate Jewish people whether we are rich or poor, powerful or marginalized, religious or secular, Messianic or mainstream, Israeli or American (or any other nationality).
Indeed, one of our member congregations in Cary, North Carolina, has weathered two separate hate crimes over the past 6 months. Thanks to their investments in upgraded security equipment and teams, both perpetrators have been identified and brought to justice.
This summer at our Family Conference, we'll offer 4 hours of free ALICE Training (Active Shooter Response Training) to conference attendees. Consider attending this special workshop offering on behalf of your congregation.
If you cannot attend our conference in Los Angeles, consider making a generous donation to our Synagogue Security Fund to help us expand security training & support to our congregations (mark your donation for "Security" in the special instructions section).
With love and solidarity,
UMJC Executive Director