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How American Jewish groups are reacting to the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter’s sentence

‘What should always be top of mind is the memory of the 11 people murdered in a synagogue’

(JTA) — American Jewish organizations reacted to the news that Robert Bowers, the man who murdered 11 Jews at prayer in 2018, has been sentenced to death. Groups stressed in their comments that the memory of the victims should remain paramount. Many also expressed gratitude that the shooter’s devastating crime was treated with the gravity it deserved. 

Below is a rundown of statements, in whole or in part, from Jewish organizations in response to Wednesday’s verdict:

American Jewish Committee: “As we collectively process the jury’s decision today, what should always be top of mind is the memory of the 11 people murdered in a synagogue while at prayer by a cold-blooded hater of Jews. Ultimately what is of most significance is not how the shooter will spend the end of his life, but the fact that the U.S. government pursued this case with vigor and demonstrated that such crimes will not be countenanced, excused, or minimized.”

World Jewish Congress: ““Today’s decision represents a measure of justice for the slaughter of 11 Jewish worshippers on that fateful day in 2018 at the Tree of Life synagogue. Nothing can ever bring back the people killed in the attack, the deadliest act of antisemitism in the history of the United States. The jury’s decision is a stark reminder to remain vigilant about countering antisemitism, wherever it may hide. I call on American leaders to amplify their efforts to protect Jewish communities across the country so that such a tragedy never again takes place.”

Secure Community Network: “This sentence sends a message to violent extremists, terrorists, and antisemites everywhere that the United States will not tolerate hate and violence against the Jewish people, nor any people of faith. Though nothing will replace those taken from us nor ever fully assuage the grief that continues, this sentence is another step on the path to justice… While this event may have stretched the will and spirit of the Jewish community, it never broke it – nor will any act of hate or violence.”

Squirrel Hill Stands Against Gun Violence: “The jury today issued its final verdict, ensuring that the perpetrator of the deadliest act of antisemitic violence in American history will never walk free. We thank the many participants in the judicial process, including the jurors, Judge Colville and his staff, the prosecutors and other Justice Department employees who worked long and hard to bring us to this day.  We are also grateful to the law enforcement officers who put themselves in harm’s way on October 27, 2018, and saved many lives. And we remember the 11 people murdered that day because they were Jews and because of the easy accessibility of guns in our state and nation”

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