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National Conference on Jewish Affairs: ‘We Commend President Trump for His Heartfelt Expressions of Grief’

By Michael Morris | October 29, 2018 | 11:46am EDT
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 28: A well-wisher lays a bouquet of flowers at a makeshift memorial down the street from the site of the mass shooting that killed 11 people and wounded 6 at the Tree Of Life Synagogue on October 28, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

Spokesman for the National Conference on Jewish Affairs (NCJA) Rabbi Aryeh Spero lauded President Donald Trump’s heartfelt response and concern for Pittsburgh’s Jewish community yesterday, saying on behalf of the NCJA, “We commend President Trump for his heartfelt expressions of grief.”

“We commend President Trump for his heartfelt expressions of grief to Pittsburgh’s Jewish community, as well as to all American Jews regarding the slaughter at the Etz Chayim Synagogue on Saturday in Squirrel Hill,” stated Rabbi Aryeh Spero in a Facebook post. “It is quite obvious that the President was deeply distressed by the events Saturday and has made an upcoming priority in his schedule to go to Pittsburgh to be with the victims.”

The NCJA statement came after 11 worshipers were killed in Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday, “the deadliest attack on American Jews in U.S. history,” which “prompted critics to charge that President Trump’s rhetoric has created a climate ripe for anti-Semitic violence,” reported CNSNews.com.

Along with issuing a proclamation ordering U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff at the White House, government facilities, military posts and diplomatic missions abroad until sunset on Wednesday, “[a]s a mark of solemn respect for the victims of the terrible act of violence perpetrated at The Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,” President Trump told the Future Farmers of America convention in Indianapolis, Indiana,

“Anti-Semitism and the widespread persecution of Jews represents one of the ugliest and darkest features of human history. The vile, hate-filled poison of anti-Semitism must be condemned and confronted everywhere and anywhere it appears.”

Rabbi Aryeh Spero continued later in his Facebook post:

“We know that President Trump feels this tragedy very personally because he himself has attended synagogues and Jewish rituals as a father and grandfather to a Jewish daughter and grandchildren. The President, as did his late father, Fred, has had a history of supporting Jewish synagogues and causes, and the President continually demonstrates his love of the Jewish People and Israel. Safety for Jews around the world is of prime concern for Mr. Trump.”

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