Condolences and Comfort

Dear CBI congregants and friends,

As we begin a new week and return to eating chametz, we hear of another tragic shooting at a synagogue in our own country. Today should be about sharing the lessons of freedom we have learned this week. Instead, we must respond to another hate crime. At the Chabad of Poway, outside San Diego, one person was murdered and three others injured, including the rabbi. We mourn this senseless loss of life, and pray for a refuah sheleimah, a complete healing, for the victims.

In response to the recent rise of anti-Semitic violence, CBI and our neighboring Jewish organizations, Philip Benjamin Tower and Menorah Manor, remain vigilant in making sure that we remain a safe place for our members and guests to worship, learn and socialize. We have taken numerous measures to secure our facilities, from our recently updated security system, video surveillance system, and armed security personnel.

Our synagogue will be open for business today and we look forward to welcoming our religious school families. As always, all synagogue doors will be locked during regular business hours, and all visitors must be buzzed in when they enter through the main entrance or the school entrance. In order for our security to be effective, we remind you to take a look around before entering the building, and do not hold the door open for anyone you do not know.

Again, our hearts remain with Chabad of Poway and the San Diego Jewish community, and we will be reaching out to them in the coming days to offer our support. I am proud to be part of the St Petersburg community. On my phone last night I found texts from Muslim and Christian clergy expressing their support for the Jewish community. We are truly blessed to live here.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or our President, Dean Hershkowitz.

Rabbi Philip Weintraub