general newsletter

Enough – Message from the CEO

November 8, 2018
Woman holding sign that says "Stronger than hate"

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Two Saturdays ago, I joined my fellow congregants at our synagogue to pray, socialize, and enjoy each other’s company. It is a true community experience. At the same hour, a hate-filled man armed with an assault rifle and three handguns entered the Tree of Life synagogue building in Pittsburgh and heinously murdered eleven worshippers. I felt violated and vulnerable, and I was two hundred miles away. This mass killing is not a singular event, nor is it the most recent.

Last night, a shooter entered a bar in Thousand Oaks, California, and murdered eleven patrons out for an evening of entertainment, and a police officer who was among the first through the door to silence the killing. As of this writing, many details are unknown, but one thing is clear – we are once more subject to senseless killing engendered by hate and rage.

I can only hope that the level of gun violence in this country does not numb us to the possibilities to act to reduce this national epidemic. Whether in Pittsburgh, or Thousand Oaks, or Charleston, or Parkland, or on the streets of our cities, we are all too close to this violence. I understand those who defend the right to own guns under the Second Amendment, but I am sure they, too, are fed up with the inevitable deaths that we are experiencing. We need more extensive background checks, bans on assault weapons, and limits on the weapon enhancements that are causing so much havoc. It is time for our elected officials to act. Enough is enough.

Lee Sherman, President & CEO