Dear Beloved Community, 

As you may be aware, over the last 2 days, there have been 2 separate shootings in the Pico Robertson area. Wednesday morning, a Jewish male was shot on Shenandoah. Thursday morning, another Jewish male was shot leaving a synagogue on Bedford. Thankfully, both victims sustained non life threatening injuries and are expected to make full recoveries. We wish them both refuah shelemah – a complete physical and spiritual healing. 

At Beit T’Shuvah, we want to assure you we are doing all we can to ensure the safety of our residents and community members. 

  • Shabbat services will continue to operate with 2 armed security guards. 

  • Our staff members are trained and always on high alert for suspicious behavior and activity around our property and work in conjunction with Police if and when necessary.

  • We remain in regular communication with the Jewish Federation and law enforcement agencies if any threats are identified. 

While these incidents appear to be unrelated and there is NO credible threat to the Los Angeles Jewish community, we ask each member of our community to remain vigilant and partner with us to keep Beit T’Shuvah a sanctuary and refuge for those seeking a better life.  If you see something, say something. 

Lastly, in times like this with rise in anti-semitism and gun violence, what should our response be? What can each of us do to make a difference? 

The answer in my opinion is what makes our community so unique and what inspires me every day. It is what our residents and staff do daily. Before our resentments fester into hatred, we turn them into acts of forgiveness and opportunities for connection. 

This week’s Torah portion urges us that “When you see the donkey of your enemy lying under its burden and would refrain from raising it, you must nevertheless raise it with him” (Exodus 23:5).  Within all of us, there is a tendency to dismiss someone we hold a grudge against in their time of need. Our tradition says, go do a mitzvah – a sacred deed of connection – and instead of ignoring, lend a helping hand. 

May we have a safe, healing and peaceful shabbat!

Rabbi Joseph Shamash