The Rabbinical Alliance of America—Igud HaRabbonim, representing over 950 American rabbis—joins our nation in mourning the victims of the July 4, 2022, Independence Day massacre which tragically occurred in Highland Park, Illinois on America’s 246th birthday. A cold hearted, evil gunman opened fire on families waving American flags and children riding bikes at a Fourth of July parade, killing six and wounding more than 36 in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park.

Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president of the Rabbinical Alliance of America remarked, “As Jewish Americans, we cherish the freedom, liberty, equality and justice that we celebrate on Independence Day. As Jews, we have a proud and rich history and we also have sadly experienced throughout the annals of history antisemitism, hate, pogroms, the Holocaust and terror in Israel. What happened in Highland Park on Independence Day shocks our psyche and frightens our inner core and conscience. We may never know what hate or evil sparked a mad man, an evil, cold-blooded deliberate killer, a terrorist with a chilling indifference to life, to mar the serenity of Independence Day with the blood of innocent people who gathered together to celebrate this great country. Our prayers are with the victims and their families and with our fellow Americans who are mourning this grave loss. Freedom and liberty come at an expensive cost. America has fought many wars to pave the way for democracy here and abroad. This Highland Park massacre causes us to wonder where we as Americans have gone wrong that such a tragedy could take place, especially on Independence Day, a day dedicated to expressing our appreciation to the principles that we as Americans stand for.

We must work in sending a clear and resounding message that violence is never an answer. As Americans, we will not tolerate it and we will hold all those engaged in mass shootings and violence accountable. In order to regain public order, we must work on our own civility and respect. We must treat each other with the respect we desire for ourselves. To this end, in honor of the victims of the Highland Park massacre, the Rabbinical Alliance of America calls upon all decent people to engage in acts of charity and kindness. Allow us to leave our comfort zone and engage positively with a stranger, touch them in a friendly interaction and share with them some much needed brotherly love and compassion. By reaching out and building friendships we improve the world around us, and at the same time we  memorialize the victims of the Highland Park shooting as a blessing for renewal and hope for our great nation. 

“We pray that He who makes peace in his Heavens makes peace on His earth and all who harbor evil thoughts realize the error of their ways and redirect and transform their negative energy into a positive force to help make this world a better place for all people.”