Rabbi Arthur Schneier Statement at Press Conference in NYC Aftermath of Shooting at Synagogue in Pittsburgh Saturday, October 27, 2018, 7:00pm
This is a very tragic day not only for the Jewish Community of Pittsburgh but for the United States, but particularly for me a Holocaust survivor. I never thought after the Nazi tyranny ended coming to this land of freedom, I would see anti-Semitism not only in Europe but even in our own country. So, Mayor your presence here, you’ve been here on happy occasions where we’ve welcomed the Chief Rabbi of France; your presence here is really reassuring the Jewish Community and Chief Moynihan, Borough President, Senator, you are reassuring the Jewish Community in New York that we are safe because any attack on a House of Worship is really going for the jugular of a faith community. If you want to attack a church, a mosque, a temple or synagogue those hate mongers are ready to kill regardless of who you are. So thank you for the protection, your commitment, safety and we are particularly proud of our neighbor. We are very fortunate that we have a 19th Precinct – not every Synagogue is so fortunate but again we cannot thank you enough. I am off to Pittsburgh to show our solidarity with an interfaith Appeal of Conscience Foundation delegation and I know all New Yorkers stand with our brothers and sisters in Pittsburgh as we pray for the freedom we’ve enjoyed in the blessed land; God Bless America and God Bless our great City and State of New York. Thank you all for joining us.
I would like to quote to you a German Poet, Heinrich Heine in the 19th Century he wrote “those who burn books will burn human beings” and I changed that statement. Those who burn synagogues, and we are going to remember on November 9th Kristallnacht, I was there in Vienna when my synagogue burned and those who burned synagogues burned my and pokfamily in Auschwitz. So thank you Mayor and all elected officials, and the Police Department. In Vienna, I stood by when my synagogue was burning and the police and fire officials did not worry about saving the synagogue – they were worried about the neighboring buildings. So God Bless all of the men and women of the Police, FBI and State Troopers.
And I have a plea, yes we’re in safe hands under your leadership but synagogues, churches, temples and mosques also have to take security measures. We’re spending a fortune of money to protect our children, our congregations so there’s an allocation by Homeland Security, by the State of New York and I turn to you. I think it would be very important because of the time we are living in, to increase that financial support both on the Federal, the State and City governments so that churches and houses of worship will be able to carry jointly with law of enforcement the threat by the hate mongers. Thank you and God Bless you all.