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As we prepare for another somber Shabbat, the Jewish Federation of St. Louis and the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) wanted to share a few words about the horrific New Jersey kosher supermarket shooting.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the New Jersey Jewish community. In addition, Jewish Federation of New Jersey and The Jewish Federations of North America have been in constant contact with law enforcement, community leaders, and elected officials since the horrific events in Jersey City started unfolding,” said Greg Yawitz, Board Chair of Federation.

Greg noted that the Jewish Federation of St. Louis coordinates with local organizations through our Community Security Director to ensure that we have all appropriate measures in place to secure our gathering places.

Joe Pereles, Chair of JCRC, emphasized the importance of communities coming together in times of crisis.

“We are being supported by so many members of the Christian, Muslim, and African American communities now, as we have supported them during their times of sorrow. We are stronger together.”

Below is an update directly from Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey CEO Jason M. Shames:

Our state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has assured me that he and law enforcement are taking the utmost care to ensure our safety. However, only the investigation itself will determine the motive in this case. While it certainly seems the Jewish market, and possibly the Jewish community was targeted, there are many complexities that must be investigated in order to determine whether or not this will be legally classified as an anti-Semitic hate crime.

Attorney General Grewal is a longstanding supporter of the Jewish community and is a stalwart in ensuring that all investigations are conducted thoroughly and according to the law. He was, in fact, the Bergen County Prosecutor that oversaw the case against Akash Dalal and Anthony Graziano for their crimes against the Jewish community in 2012 that resulted in a guilty verdict on terrorism charges.

As a result of the complexities of this investigation, there will continue to be rumors and speculations. We are determined to support law enforcement in their efforts and will keep you posted based on information that becomes available.

We are deeply saddened by the senseless loss of life. A police officer and three members of our Jewish family have been taken from us much too soon. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families as they mourn this tragic loss. Federation’s partner organizations are on standby to offer any necessary support services for the entire community.

We are continuing to monitor the situation. We will update you with more information as it becomes available.