As a Jew living in America, it saddens and terrifies me to acknowledge that anti-semitism is still alive and well here. My family and I fled from anti-semitism when we left the Soviet Union as refugees in the late 1980’s, in the hope of reaching safety in the United States of America, the land of the free and the brave. It is up to us, the free and the brave, to protect our freedom through our bravery and to support our brothers and sisters who want to openly practice their chosen religions. Our united stand to not tolerate this type of violence is our only defense for maintaining our constitutional right to engage in our religious practices without fear of retribution. My heart goes out to the families who are suffering huge painful losses at this time in Pittsburgh. I hope their losses stand as a meaningful message to the rest of us to respect and honor our right and privilege to openly practice our various religions in safety, and to hold on to what makes this great country what it is.