Colorado Jewish community ‘shaken to core’ after mass shooting in Boulder

“We are traumatized. This is our home, this is our grocery store,” said a social-media post signed by leaders of the Boulder JCC.


The Jewish Community Center of Boulder and area synagogues held a vigil on Tuesday evening so local residents could connect and grieve following a mass shooting at a supermarket not far from the University of Colorado.

Ten people, including one police officer, were killed when a gunman attacked a King Soopers supermarket in the Colorado city 30 miles northeast of Denver. All the victims have been identified; the youngest was 20 and the oldest 65. Police arrested the gunman, identified as 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa from Arvada, Colo.

A Facebook post by Rabbi Fred Greene of Congregation Har Ha-Shem noted that his synagogue includes those who live in the neighborhood of the shooting.

“I know that we are feeling shock, fear, anger and so much more. I am sorry that as people were beginning to feel hopeful for [coronavirus] vaccines and a new beginning, another act of violence has shaken our community,” wrote Greene. “We are thinking of you who go to that area to shop. We are praying for the healing of those who are experiencing fear and trauma.”

Rabbi Marc Soloway of Congregation Bonai Shalom posted on Facebook: “Friends, I am sure we are all so shaken and frightened by how close today’s horrible shooting was to us. A store that so many of us have been in multiple times. While we wait with terror and sadness to learn more about the victims, I hope and pray that you and your loved ones are safe.”

Leaders of the Boulder JCC also expressed their sorrow and dismay regarding an incident of violence so close to home.

“Our hearts are with the Boulder community as the shooting at the King Soopers has unfolded before our eyes. We are shaken to our core, and we mourn the loss of life. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims, law enforcement and first responders who put their lives on the line for our beloved community,” said a social-media post signed by Jonathan Lev and Lee Strongwater, JCC’s executive director and board president.

“We are traumatized,” it continued. “This is our home, this is our grocery store. We have been there for each other throughout an incredibly difficult year. While we still don’t have many details on the shooting, we know there is more information to come in the hours and days ahead.”