Police officers at site of shooting in Halle, Germany
Police officers at site of shooting in Halle, GermanyReuters

The Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) horrified on Wednesday night condemned the attack on Jewish worshipers in the German city of Halle during Yom Kippur prayers.

“We are heartbroken, shocked, and furious to learn that the Jewish community of Halle was the target of a murderous antisemitic attack. We grieve the loss of the two bystanders whose lives were torn from them and we extend our deepest condolences to their families. We wish a full and speedy recovery to the wounded,” said Michael Frankel, Chair of Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA.

"CIJA is deeply troubled by the deteriorating security situation faced by the Jewish community in Germany where antisemitic assaults have been rising for the past two years. We join our partners from the Central Council of Jews in Germany in calling on German authorities for heightened police security around Jewish institutions in the country,” added CIJA Co-Chair Joel Reitman.

"The CIJA security team, as managers of the National Community Security Program, remain in close contact with Canadian law enforcement who have indicated that a there is no information to suggest an elevated threat level in Canada. As a precaution, police have increased patrols around Jewish institutions. Even though there is no indication of an elevated threat, there always remains the possibility of copy-cat attacks. We therefore urge members of the Jewish community to remain vigilant, follow established community security protocols, and continue with the normal activities of life. If you see something suspicious, report it to police immediately. Should the security situation change, we will notify our community through all our channels,” said CIJA Co-Chair Jeff Rosenthal.

Two people were shot dead in Wednesday’s attack outside the synagogue in Halle. The shooter allegedly said that "the Jews are the source of all our problems."

The suspect documented the events live, with the video documenting the shooting of two people and then a failed attempt into the synagogue. Witnesses reported that the armed suspect was wearing a camera helmet and wearing military-style clothing.

The chairman of the Jewish community in the city said the attacker tried to break into the synagogue during prayer, but was blocked by security guards, preventing a larger death toll. Between 50 and 70 worshipers were inside the synagogue at the time of the attack.