This last year 5779, will be remembered as the most destructive in American Jewish History. The attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh followed six months to the day by the attack on Chabad of Poway. In between those attacks we witnessed the slaughter of Christian worshippers last Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka, and the murder and devastation at mosques in New Zealand.
In the last few weeks our nation has convulsed through horrific violent attacks on ordinary people enjoying the summer. As many of you know, Shira, Tracy and I were at the Gilroy Garlic Festival two hours before the shooting. Standing in the same place that soon would be covered in blood and bullets gives you a chilling sense of how fragile our existence is and, tragically, how common these mass murders have become. Most of us probably knows someone who was at Route 91 or Borderline, just since 2017.
We still have so far to go to truly live in peace, but we do live in an era where there is amazing cooperation between faith groups. In the past religious differences sparked violence. Now, throughout the world, specifically in the face of these tragedies, religious denominations, have united in solidarity to reaffirm our common commitment to peace.
At the end of September Temple Beth Ami will be celebrating our New Year at Santa Clarita United Methodist Church, who have graciously allowed us use of their space once again this year. Increased security, including armed guards, will be the order of the day, in our community and in synagogues across our nation.
As we close out 5779 we reflect on numerous tragedies in the United States, we recognize that the Jewish community was especially targeted during the last year. We understand these vicious acts to be part of wider societal problems that effect many communities, and in reality impact everyone in the country. We have only begun to engage in serious dialogue, and most of us feel no safer than we did twenty years ago. We know we have much more to accomplish.
May this year bring us more peace. May we work, as a community and a nation, in all ways, to legislate, educate, motivate and protect our people. And may we all live in a world filled with safety and security.
Whatever blessings this year brings you, may you accept them with gratitude, whatever challenges, may you face them with courage.
LE-SHANAH TOVAH TIKATEVU -- MAY YOU BE INSCRIBED FOR A GOOD YEAR!
We look forward to getting this new year off to a great start. In 5780 we will once again be celebrating High Holiday services at Santa Clarita United Methodist Church, 26640 Bouquet Canyon Rd. We look forward to being with you all soon.