The grotesque shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, during Shabbat services, has shocked and outraged our nation, even if it is felt most pointedly by our Jewish community. On behalf of the entire UCI family I extend our support and solidarity to our Jewish students, faculty, staff, friends, and neighbors. We join you and the rest of the nation in expressing our deepest sorrow and sympathy to the victims’ families and communities. We stand alongside you in condemning this horrific violence, and denouncing the horrendous (and intensifying) anti-Semitism from which it arises.
The Jewish sabbath is meant to be a time of spiritual reflection and rejuvenation. It begins at sundown on Friday with the lighting of candles. The light from the candles conveys warmth, hope, and wisdom. Fiat Lux. Let there be light. As we confront the darkness let us rededicate ourselves to being a source of enlightenment for our nation and for the world, paving the way toward a more just and peaceful future, where hope trumps despair, understanding subdues ignorance, empathy overrides insensitivity, and respect conquers hate.