In Judaism, after the loss of a loved one, we say, זכרונו לברכה (zikhrono/zikhronah livrakha), “may his/her memory be a blessing.”
The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando and the Central Florida Jewish Community are heartbroken by the hateful violence perpetrated against Muslims at prayer in New Zealand. Like people of all faiths, our Muslim brothers and sisters have the right to feel safe and secure in their homes, communities, schools, and houses of worship.
We are committed to upholding our shared values of religious plurality and partnership. Islamophobia is but one branch of the wider tree of hate. The racist ideology that claimed 49 innocent lives today is the same ideology that led to the murder of 11 Jews at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh last year. Just as the Muslim community stood with Jews then, we stand with Muslims now. We are prepared and willing to provide whatever support is required to make sure that our Muslim friends and neighbors feel welcome and safe in our shared community.
To the friends and family of the victims of this senseless violence, we send our deepest condolences. Today and always, may all of their memories be a blessing.
May this Sabbath be one of peace for all people – of any faith and of no faith – and may we all strive to treat every person as a creation in G-d’s image.