JCPA Condemns Racist Shooting in Buffalo

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) strongly condemns the heinous racist shootings in Buffalo and the white supremacist tropes which inspired the shooter.

The shooter, who livestreamed his actions on social media and circulated a manifesto espousing violently racist and antisemitic sentiments online shortly before the attack, intended to start a race war that “will save the Western world.”

JCPA stands with Black and Jewish communities around the country to speak out against white supremacy, racism and hate. We must work together against gun violence and escalation of hate and violence designed to disrupt our multiracial democracy.

Below is the statement issued earlier today by the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Buffalo Jewish Federation:

MAY 16, 2022

“Buffalo’s Jewish Community stands shoulder-to-shoulder linking arms with Buffalo’s Black Community as they deal with the aftermath of this weekend’s horrific shooting that took the lives of 10 people and injured 3 others at the Tops Market on Jefferson Avenue.

The Talmud tells us that: “Whoever destroys a soul; it is considered as if they destroyed an entire world” (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5). 
Our hearts and prayers extend to the families and friends of the deceased and to the larger community that mourns with them. May their memories always be for a blessing.

The Jewish community knows well the manifestation of white nationalism and collectively we are devastated that our friends and neighbors are experiencing this first-hand, yet again.

The Jewish community is here and will continue to be there for our neighbors: Rabbi Alex Lazarus-Klein of Congregation Shir Shalom and dozens of Jewish community members attended a Prayer Vigil outside the crime scene Sunday morning; Temple Beth Zion’s Rabbi Sharon Sobel spoke at an Interfaith service at the Macedonia Baptist Church later in the day; the Jewish Family Services of WNY, the Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo and congregations from every denomination have released statements expressing outrage and offering support.

While the Buffalo community is strong and relationships between Blacks and whites have been nurtured, much work has to be done together to address issues of systemic racism. As part of a faith community, we know that this hate crime cannot be tolerated in a civil society.

In a blink of an eye, life changed in the City of Good Neighbors. We are incredibly grateful to leaders like Bishop Darius Pridgen (True Bethel), Rev. Mark Blue of NAACP Buffalo Branch and Rev. Denise Walden of Voice Buffalo.  They and other Black leaders are providing a voice of calm and one of hope, even amid this horror. We lift up their leadership and to continue to follow their lead.

These are the times we must pull together and support one another. In Hebrew, we say – “Hineni” – We are here!”  One of the critical areas of need is food insecurity as the Tops Market was the only large grocery in the area and it is currently closed indefinitely.  Click this link below to donate fresh and non-perishable food items and other supports.”