November 16, 2015
Minneapolis, MN — Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement regarding last week's heinous terrorist attacks in Paris:
"The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) extends its condolences and offers our most heartfelt prayers to the victims and their families of the terrorist attacks in Paris and to all of the people of France. We stand in solidarity with Paris and France for a second time this year as her citizens have been killed and ideals assaulted. We take heart in the courage of those who were attacked and the response of the police, military, and civil authorities in the aftermath of the evening of November 13th. We also praise international law enforcement as well as local, state, and federal law enforcement.
"We join in the words of the Chief Rabbi of France, Moshe Sebbag, expressed at a Sunday night memorial service at the Grand Synagogue of Rue Victoire: 'We pray for all of the injured to recover quickly. Our hearts are with them and their families.' All those attending the memorial service recited the Kaddish - the Jewish prayer of the affirmation of life and God - recited in times of mourning. The Imam of the Drancy Mosque attended the service at the invitation of the Chief Rabbi - a symbol of interfaith solidarity among people of good will in France.
"These attacks are not only aimed at people, but at core beliefs that we share with the French Republic: liberty, equality, and fraternity. We know the pain of terrorist attacks and resolve needed to confront extremist ideologies. We stand with the French people and take strength from their bravery. We hope that our shared beliefs and solidarity can also be a source of strength for them as well at this difficult time.
"The attacks in Paris are not an isolated event. As these attacks occurred in Paris, we are mindful of the continued rash of violence in Israel, Lebanon, Iraq, and across the Horn of Africa. Nobody is suffering more than the people of Syria where millions have fled the same threats from the Islamic State. No single people or nations can stop this violence. It is critical that all people who share these values come together - both through our governments, civil society institutions, and individual relationships - to stop this madness."
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights anti-Semitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.