NYU Steinhardt News

NYU Metro Center Responds to Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting

New York, NY—Yesterday, the first of eleven people killed at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA was put to rest. Unfortunately, the fear of violence and irrational hatred remains.
We at NYU Metro Center express our deepest grief and solidarity with our Jewish friends around the world after the heinous violence perpetrated against congregants of Tree of Life. It is our constant quest to heal and protect those afflicted by such tragic, ruthless, and cowardice acts. When the security and freedoms of innocent people are violated, we all suffer. We all should be safe to pursue our best lives.
At NYU Metro Center, we are working to steadfastly build and sustain inviolate spaces for people of all faiths, races, genders and gender identities, abilities, linguistic heritages, socioeconomic backgrounds, etc. to join in fellowship and seek communion with one another and the greater purposes that animate our existences. We are doing this through compassionate and engaged science work, exploring ways to promote more love and listening through research. We are doing this by providing supportive services through our anti-bias workshops, technical assistance and culturally responsive education work with teachers, and by partnering with communities to host, hear, and elevate their concerns and solutions.
While we condemn the environment of hate-filled rhetoric that has become so prevalent in our country, we look toward new conversations and programs that center healing as opposed to hurt and violence. Anti-Semitism (or any other system of hatred) has no place in our society. The right to kill is no right at all, but a corrupted license that we must amend or revoke. It is the responsibility of good people everywhere to speak out and stand up for each other’s true rights, the right to live peacefully and prosperously, without fear or intimidation.
We at NYU Metro Center stand with the congregants of the Tree of Life, the American Jewish community, and so many other communities imperiled by hate. In the wake of this tragedy, we rededicate ourselves to fighting for an America built on equity, love, and the promises of justice.
David E. Kirkland
Executive Director, NYU Metro Center