American Jewish University joins with the entire Jewish community in grief and outrage over the mass killings today at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. The attack, perhaps the deadliest against the Jewish community in American history, reminds us of the continuing presence of virulent anti-Semitism and the possibility that incredible violence can occur at any moment in any part of the United States. We must be resolute in standing together as a community against hate and violence, and continue to question why as a society we cannot do and be better.
Specific to AJU, we have been in touch with our security provider as well as local police departments that serve our campus locations in Los Angeles and Simi Valley. At both of our campuses, guards are on high alert, patrols are being increased, and we will continue to be vigilant in communicating with all guests. We are also reviewing other measures to make sure that we are as secure as possible.
At the same time, we must live the lives that we want. Turning away in fear from Jewish institutions would be the ultimate victory for the anti-Semites. We are safest and most secure together, as a strong and vibrant community.
We will continue to hold the Tree of Life’s victims and survivors, and its Pittsburgh neighbors, in our hearts, our minds, and within our unwavering commitment to our community.
-Jeffrey Herbst, AJU