In response to the tragic violence in Orlando, the leadership of NFTY, the Reform Jewish Youth Movement, issued the following statement:
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families after the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. With heavy hearts, we pray for the lives that were lost and the others who were injured during the shooting. Beyond our grief and sorrow, we are indignant and outraged.
The news of yet another mass shooting reminds us that our country is not safe and that our work as gun violence prevention advocates is nowhere near over. NFTY actively denounces gun violence, having recently passed a resolution to reaffirm our stance against gun violence. Along with becoming a founding partner of Everytown’s National Gun Violence Awareness Day, NFTY teens have engaged in advocacy efforts both on the North American level and within their local communities.
It horrifies us to see a sanctuary for the LGBT community targeted with such violence and hatred, especially in this season of pride and love. Almost one year ago, we celebrated the establishment of marriage equality in all 50 states. This tragedy serves as a solemn reminder that, despite the victories secured by the LGBT community, we must continue our commitment to battling homophobia and hatred in this nation.
This upcoming week, we take the opportunity to study Parshat Naso which reminds us of the completion of the census of the children of Israel; yet today, the world has lost many of its children as a result of gun violence. The unconditional principle that all beings are B’tzelem Eloheim, created in the image of G-d, exemplifies the importance of each human life and deeply saddens us with every loss. We stand in solidarity with the victims, their families, and the LGBT community as a whole.
5775-5776 / 2015-2016 NFTY North American Board
Jeremy Cronig, NFTY President
Lexi Chavin, NFTY Programming Vice President
Taylor Gleeson, NFTY Social Action Vice President
Celia Tedde, NFTY Religious and Cultural Vice President
Joey Penn, NFTY Membership Vice President
Aly Silverberg, NFTY Communications Vice President
5776-5777 / 2016-2017 NFTY North American Board Elect
Kathryn Fleisher, NFTY President Elect
Jordan Iserson, NFTY Programming Vice President Elect
Shelby Shoup, NFTY Social Action Vice President Elect
Matthew Sampson, NFTY Religious and Cultural Vice President Elect
Andrew Oestreicher, NFTY Membership Vice President Elect
Deni Budman, NFTY Communications Vice President Elect