WRJ Statement on Gun Violence

[New York, NY, August 5, 2019]

In the wake of this past weekend’s horrific massacres in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, WRJ Executive Director, Rabbi Marla J. Feldman, released the following statement:

“Do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor.” (Leviticus 19:16)

Women of Reform Judaism is devastated by the news of two mass shootings that occurred this weekend in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Our stance remains unchanged: WRJ calls for significant policy change to keep guns out of the hands of murderers.

WRJ has been advocating for gun safety laws since as early as 1967, and seemingly there is no end in sight to these mass shootings in the United States. Nevertheless, WRJ pledges to continue its efforts to advocate for stronger gun laws in America, with special attention to banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, which would curb the epidemic of gun violence. 

In the wake of the most recent spate of mass shootings, we can no longer ignore the climate of divisiveness and hatred of the ‘other’ in American society that has sparked atrocities inspired by anti-Semitism, racism, or anti-immigrant animus. Our leaders must take steps not only to prosecute hate crimes when they occur, but also to address the conspiracy theories, the hate networks, and ugly rhetoric of public leaders that incite them.

While we pray for the dead in El Paso and Dayton, for healing of the injured, and for the comfort of their friends and families, we call on our elected officials to take immediate action to end gun violence and take effective action against hate crimes so that Americans can go about their daily lives, to a Walmart or nightlife district, without fear of a mass shooting.