Rabbinical Assembly Commends Justice Department for Charging Hate Crime Suspect in L.A. Synagogue Shootings

NEW YORK, NY (February 21, 2023) In response to the hate crime charges brought by the U.S. Justice Department against Jaime Tran for targeting and shooting two recognizably Jewish men outside two Los Angeles synagogues, the Rabbinical Assembly (RA), the international association of Conservative/Masorti rabbis, issued the following statement:

The Rabbinical Assembly remains deeply disturbed by this act of brazen violence against the L.A. Jewish community and commends the Justice Department for charging the assailant with two counts of hate crimes. We are particularly grateful for the swift and thorough response by law enforcement officials to apprehend the suspect and prevent more violence.

Tran allegedly targeted both victims because they were Jewish or he believed them to be Jewish, and the shootings occurred in the predominantly Jewish Pico-Robertson district of Los Angeles. The victims were dressed in clothing that visibly identified their Jewish faith, and the evidence uncovered during the investigation indicates that Tran located the Jewish neighborhood after searching a popular business-review app for a kosher market in the area.

The Rabbinical Assembly strongly condemns any and all forms of violence. We offer our support and prayers to the victims of these senseless acts and their families and we stand firmly in solidarity with the Jewish community in L.A. and across the country.

We cannot remain silent about the increase in antisemitism worldwide and the alarming trend of violent incidents targeting Jewish communities in the United States. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us – from the storming of the Tree of Life synagogue by a gunman in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; to the shootings at the Chabad of Poway synagogue in California; the attack at a kosher grocery in Jersey City, New Jersey; the stabbings during a Hanukkah party in Monsey, New York; and too many more. We must first work to immediately ensure that our synagogues, schools, and other communal institutions are secure and hardened from existential threats.

We urge leaders at all levels to work together to create safe and inclusive communities, where people of all faiths and backgrounds can live, work, and worship without fear of discrimination or violence. We call upon all Americans to join us in speaking out against this despicable attack.