UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) are shocked and saddened by the loss of life and injuries resulting from today's deadly shooting at the Chabad of Poway Synagogue in California. On the Sabbath, and the final day of Passover, which includes the Yizkor memorial prayers, the sanctity of the synagogue was destroyed when a hateful antisemitic murderer killed Lori Gilbert-Kaye and injured three others.
This attack occurred six months to the day of the antisemitic attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, in which 11 innocent people were murdered.
Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the victims, their families, and their loved ones, as well as the entire community. We pray for the swift recovery of the innocents who were injured.
In response to the incident, UJA's advocacy agent, CIJA, and its National Community Security Program (NCSP) team were in direct contact with local GTA police services and those across the country tracking the situation closely.
While there is no information whatsoever to suggest an elevated threat to our GTA Jewish community and communities across Canada, we are grateful that law enforcement here in the GTA and across Canada were aware and responded accordingly with the necessary resources to safeguard our community.
We continue to encourage all members of our community to be vigilant; if you see something suspicious, you should contact the police immediately.
In partnership with UJA Federation, CIJA has been in ongoing contact with synagogues, schools, Jewish community centres, and other community institutions to ensure they are informed.
Our Jewish community is resilient and knows how to react in these situations. While we remain concerned about the rise of antisemitism, both in our country and around the world, we are committed to living our lives proudly as Canadian Jews, whether in our synagogues, schools, Jewish community centres, or in public life.
Tonight, we stand in solidarity with Poway in mourning the dead and praying for the injured.
May the memory of Lori Gilbert-Kaye be for a blessing.