The KELOLAND Jewish community is mourning after the shooting at a Pennsylvania synagogue left 11 people dead.
KELOLAND’s Nathan Finster spoke with South Dakota’s only Rabbi who says fear won’t stop him from practicing his religion.
Shock. That’s what Rabbi Mendal Alperowitz says he felt when he first heard about the deadly shooting.
“These people had gathered at a synagogue to celebrate life, and that’s how their life ended,” Alperowitz said.
The South Dakota Rabbi says our country needs to address antisemitism.
“The truth is, if it’s not safe to be an American Jew at a synagogue, it’s not safe to be an American,” Alperowitz said.
Despite the attack, Alperowitz says he’s not afraid to practice his religion.
“I feel very safe practicing my religion. I’m a proud Jew, I always will be. I’ll just keep my eyes open knowing that these things can happen, unfortunately,” Alperowitz said.
Alperowitz says he’s seen an outpouring of support from people outside of Judaism.
“My wife and I have received many phone calls and emails from people across Sioux Falls and South Dakota and the broader community, expressing their sympathy and outrage at what happened,” Alperowitz said.
Alperowitz says spreading kindness is how we should combat hate.
“Each of us should just increase in our acts of goodness and kindness amongst our friends, our family, and make sure to be better citizens, better family members. Do another good thing today or tomorrow, especially to people you don’t know,” Alperowitz said.
The Chabad Jewish Center of South Dakota posted a statement about the shooting.