Message on the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

Dear Friends,

On behalf of my colleagues on council and the Town administration, we extend our deepest sympathies to all who have lost loved ones in the tragic shooting in Pittsburgh on Shabbat. We also pray for a speedy and complete recovery for all who were injured in the attack. In commemoration of the innocent victims Hampstead’s flags are at half mast.

I have heard that many Hampstead residents are worried about copycat attacks. We know that anti-Semitism is always a threat and it only takes one hateful person to cause a tragedy. Both Hampstead Public Security and the police have increased patrols. Even before this, we have been very vigilant with respect to synagogues and all Jewish themed events in Hampstead. For obvious reasons, I cannot discuss everything that we do but I think we have done and will continue to do everything that can be reasonably done in a free and open society. That said, I think there is more that our community partners can consider doing to further increase security. Discussions on that have already begun.

Finally, there is nothing that can guarantee 100% safety but we cannot allow those who threaten us to change our way of life. We will continue to attend synagogue services and events. We will continue to have major Jewish themed and other large events in Hampstead.

May we all be spared further tragedies.

Bill Steinberg
Mayor, Town of Hampstead