Statement by Congregation Dor Hadash on President Biden’s executive orders to address gun violence
Earlier today, President Biden announced that his administration is taking several executive actions to address gun violence, and that he is nominating David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. President Biden's executive actions include: (1) steps to stem the proliferation of "ghost guns", which are kits that facilitate gun assembly; (2) clarification that certain modified pistols are short-barrel rifles and subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act; and (3) the publishing of model “red flag” legislation, which if adopted by the states would allow police officers and family members to petition courts to temporarily remove firearms from people who may present a danger to themselves or others. Mr. Chipman has advocated for common sense gun safety measures, most notably a ban on assault weapons.
Congregation Dor Hadash applauds the executive actions announced today and the nomination of Mr.Chipman. However, President Biden's administration can only do so much on its own, and far more is needed before the United States can achieve meaningful gun safety. Once again, we urge Congress, state legislatures, and our other leaders to enact crucial gun safety measures, starting with a ban on assault weapons and the institution of universal background checks for all firearm purchases.
"I thank Senator Casey for his commitment to gun safety and urge Senator Toomey to step up. By supporting legislation on background checks, assault weapons and high capacity magazines, Senator Toomey can end his term of public service with a meaningful legacy as a gun safety advocate." says DorHadash member Dan Leger, who survived the October 27, 2018 massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue.
Congregation Dor Hadash Condemns the Violent Insurrection at the US Capitol
Congregation Dor Hadash condemns both violent insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6th and the elected officials who incited this attack on our democracy. We, as Jews, are well aware of the danger posed to all minorities by racist and antisemitic extremists. We, therefore, also condemn the white supremacism and antisemitism deeply embodied in this attack. We were appalled that some of the insurrectionists carried the Confederate flag. We are deeply thankful for those law enforcement officers who kept our elected representatives and their staffs safe. At the same time, we recognize that this violent and seditious mob was treated very differently than were peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters this past year. We decry the double standard with which law enforcement treats white supremacists and call for equal justice under the law.
Pirkei Avot teaches: It is not your duty to finish the work; neither are you free to desist from it. American democracy is a great, unfolding experiment that requires attention and effort. Let us renew our commitment to the work of furthering it.
Who We Are
Congregation Dor Hadash is Pittsburgh’s only Reconstructionist Jewish Congregation. We are inclusive, egalitarian, and member-led. We are an active, socially engaged, community-oriented congregation, and we are passionate about repairing the world (tikkun olam). We are proud of our history of advocating for our vision of a shared society in which diversity is celebrated. Through community and social action, we strive to tear down the walls that divide us while seeking to build a more just, thriving, and inclusive world for all of us.Learn more about our philosophy and movement
Reconstructionist Judaism is a politically and religiously progressive Jewish movement that approaches both life and Judaism with a deep consideration of the past and a desire to create and share new ways of being Jewish and practicing our faith in the present. Reconstructionists often say that the past has a vote but not a veto.
From Rabbi Deborah Waxman, President of Reconstructing Judaism, and Seth Rosen, Chair of Reconstructing Judaism’s Board of Governors:
For models of how to enact resilience, we look to the members of Dor Hadash, the vibrant lay-led Reconstructionist congregation in Pittsburgh that was meeting in the Tree of Life synagogue building on Shabbat morning of Oct. 27, 2018. As the lay and professional leaders of the national Reconstructionist movement, we have been privileged to witness their extraordinary efforts to mourn, recover and rebuild their community in the aftermath of the unimaginable. Even as we have endeavored to support and amplify those efforts over the past two years, we have learned from their example and asked ourselves how we would react if, heaven forbid, we were forced to stand in their shoes. The members of Dor Hadash never asked to be our role models. We have no doubt that they would have given anything not to be. Nonetheless, we have learned from them and continue to do so.
- "Rabbi Deborah Waxman and Seth Rosen: Mourning, recovering and rebuilding. Two years after the Tree of Life shooting, a community’s response to hate," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 27, 2020