Those are principles that Steffi Biersdorff-Wright, the young adult chair at Temple Sinai, another synagogue in Squirrel Hill, tries to teach to the members of her third- and fourth-grade worship study group — standing in solidarity with each other, as well as others who aren't like them.
But she said it's a conversation that is challenged by these attacks because in the wake of the Pittsburgh shooting, some of her students asked why people didn't like Jews or expressed a fear of being Jewish.
Biersdorff-Wright said she has struggled with fear herself when teaching in the synagogue.
"For a while, I had to sit with having a view of the doorway," she said. "As a teacher, I have to think about those things. I don’t feel safe in my own place of worship. If something like that happened in my synagogue, how would I protect them?"
Adam Hertzman, the director of marketing for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, which is raising money for New Zealand's victims, said that the Squirrel Hill community still struggles with that concept of safety.
"As we learned again today, there are sadly crazy hateful people even in the most peaceful of communities," Hertzman said. "I know that even though Pittsburgh is very safe, people feel scared whenever they hear about an attack like this because the memory of last year is still so raw."
But Hertzman said the community remains vigilant and has added security measures to stymie a similar attack in future.
And while fear lingers after these events, it is also an opportunity to share love and show that the country and the world stand against anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and white supremacy — which President Donald Trump claimed is not a rising threat — and work to "silence those voices that are spreading violence and intolerance," Biersdorff-Wright said.
“It sucks that this is our new reality,” she added, “but I hope the people in New Zealand know that the people here in Pittsburgh, myself included, are here for them and we support and love them. I know what we are feeling right now is raw, but I know that in these hard times I can stand in solidarity with others and we can take care of each other.”