The week that began with a sickening display of anti-Semitic violence ended resonantly with what the AJC says was the largest-ever showing of solidarity in prayer with the Jewish people. There has also been a notable level of support for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, given its tragic connection to the shootings in Pittsburgh—the gunman invoked the refugee-resettlement agency and said it was bringing in “invaders” minutes before he set off on a rampage that left 11 dead.
Melanie Nezer, hias’s senior vice president of public affairs, said the organization caught the public’s attention last year after strongly protesting the Trump administration’s travel ban targeting several Muslim-majority countries, as well as other efforts to bar immigrants and refugees from entering the United States. But that support has paled in comparison to the wellspring of donations, notes, and volunteers in what has been the greatest expression of support for hias in at least the past few decades. “All of these new people that have shown their faith and trust in us—we intend to honor that through our work,” Nezer told me.