Following the violence at the Chabad of Poway Synagogue, Rabbi Laurence Milder from Congregation Beth Emek in Pleasanton noted that in the last three months, terrorism has been directed toward Muslims, Christians and Jews in places of worship around the world. Milder responded to the acts by imploring that the “scourge of hatred, bigotry and racism be removed from people’s hearts.”

Chabad of the Tri-Valley, also in Pleasanton, is establishing programs offering more community and youth education. Rabbi Raleigh Resnick describes the Poway incident as a wake-up call. Although he sees security upgrades as necessary, he states, “Our faith in humanity will not be shattered. We should still recognize that people are good and these incidents are deviations.”

Ruth Gasten, of Tri-Valley Interfaith Interconnect, is encouraging more acceptance and understanding of others to counteract the fear and violence toward minorities and religious groups.

We commend our faith leaders for speaking out and for taking steps to ensure that all people have the opportunity to worship without fear.