Pennsylvania synagogue killer was angry about the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society…

….and he didn’t like Trump either.

Editor:  First, let me be clear. Nothing in this post is meant in any way to suggest that we condone this horrific act of violence against innocent people. This was a vile act by someone whose hatred of Jews was so great that he had obviously abandoned all reason and we condemn it.

Here is Reuters:

UPDATE 1-Who is Robert Bowers, the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect?


Two hours before a gunman burst into the Tree of Life synagogue and opened fire during a Shabbat religious service, Bowers posted on chat site about the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), a non-profit that helps Jewish refugees relocate to the United States.

“HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in,” wrote Bowers, a heavy-set, white male.


Bowers, who is a registered voter with “no affiliation” in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, took aim in one post at U.S. President Donald Trump, accusing him of being a “globalist” who did nothing to stop the “infestation” of the United States by Jews.

“For the record, I did not vote for him nor have I owned, worn or even touched a MAGA hat,” he wrote.

More here.

Just so you know, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (rebranded as HIAS a few years ago), resettles very few Jews.  As a federal resettlement contractor, it resettles refugees assigned to it by the US State Department from all of the usual hot spots around the world.

Screenshot (765)
Charity Navigator reports that in 2016, HIAS was 58.5% funded by government grants mostly to resettle refugees.

Curious to see how many Jewish people have been admitted to the US as refugees over the last ten years, I checked Wrapsnet.

In ten years the US admitted a total of 635,173 refugees representing a vast array of religions from all over the world.

Of that number only 1,893 (.3%) were of the Jewish faith with most of those coming from Iran(658) and Russia(545).


HIAS has put itself out as the most politically active refugee resettlement agency making them not hard to miss on the internet!

Indeed, according to media reports (assuming they are accurate!), what drew the killer to a target was HIAS’s e-mail advertisement for their special services called National Refugee Shabbat held in hundreds of synagogues in the run-up to the November election.

As readers here know, there are nine federal resettlement contractors*** and based on my informal assessment going back several years, HIAS is the most politically active of the resettlement contractors and has been dogging Donald Trump unrelentingly since the 2016 Presidential campaign.


Hetfield at NY protest
HIAS CEO Mark Hetfield at 2017 pro-refugee/anti-Trump rally in New York.

Not far behind as open borders political organizers and activists, I would put Church World Service and then the US Conference of Catholic Bishops/Catholic Charities.

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is also very politically engaged.

Free speech!

They don’t just advocate for refugees!

I think we all agree everyone is entitled to free speech, and HIAS can demonstrate in the streets against the President and for open borders, they can sue the Administration, they can cheer on the migrant caravan and they can campaign against Republicans in the midterms, but what is so patently unfair to the average citizen who is learning about their community organizing activities (from alternative media) is that they receive millions and millions of taxpayer dollars each year while promoting a political agenda that many Americans vehemently disagree with.

If they were truly a private non-profit organization, they could pay big salaries and politically organize to their hearts content, but when they are a government partner, ostensibly to care for refugees, we expect them to be neutral on what is the greatest concern facing the country now—-immigration.

Where is Congress?

The mainstream media rarely tells the public about the source of the resettlement contractors’ funds, and Congress has never, in the ten years I’ve followed the US Refugee Admissions Program, ever done any oversight of the federal contracting system that these nine have monopolized, in some cases for over three decades.

Funding the Open Borders Left!

See just for starters this graph from the Capital Research Center showing the last ten years of taxpayer dollars subsidizing the nine VOLAGS.


HIAS is in column 4 under VOLAGs.  $186 million from the US Treasury in ten years.  I think you can see that many of these refugee agencies involved in political activities could not survive without your tax dollars.


Again, there is no excuse for violence, but there is great frustration out there that a serious effort to be more open and transparent with the public might begin to quell.

So, how about the mainstream media does its job and gives the public the facts about groups like HIAS so ‘conspiracy’ theories don’t develop, and then it would be refreshing if Congress took its role seriously, investigated where our tax dollars are going and what they are being used for, and thus give us confidence that our government cares about us—Americans first!

I’ll update this post as we get more information.


*** The nine major contractors (VOLAGS) that monopolize the US Refugee Admissions Program are these:

Church World Service (CWS)
Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) (secular)
Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) (DFMS is its other name)
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
International Rescue Committee (IRC) (secular)
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS)
US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) (secular)
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
World Relief Corporation (WR)

15 thoughts on “Pennsylvania synagogue killer was angry about the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society…

  1. “So, how about the mainstream media does its job and gives the public the facts about groups like HIAS so ‘conspiracy’ theories don’t develop, and then it would be refreshing if Congress took its role seriously, investigated where our tax dollars are going and what they are being used for, and thus give us confidence that our government cares about us—Americans first!”

    Ha! If any of those things were possible, this country wouldn’t be spiraling down the toilet.


  2. This is prescient and also praises Ann’s work!. (from 2016) HIAS’s webpage and its refugee advocacy have nothing to do with Jewish refugees or the plight of Jews suffering anti-Semitism. HIAS has become just another refugee advocacy group that is one of nine voluntary organizations designated as such by the U.S. government and receiving the bulk of its financing from federal funding. Like the others, which include the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Lutheran Social Services, HIAS has an economic interest in pushing for more and more refugees.

    Regrettably, HIAS has rendered the Jewish community vulnerable to the anti-Semites who see its actions as part of some larger Jewish conspiracy, a charge not made against the Christian refugee resettlement groups who have the same economic motivations. But then pasting a conspiracy onto Lutheran Social Services, which is largely responsible for the resettlement of Somalis in Minnesota, lacks the je ne sais quoi of a Jewish conspiracy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on islamnewworldorder and commented:
    I’m fully against HIAS too, but then attack HIAS (not by shooting) and NOT innocent people.
    I too was surprised at the words “…helps Jewish ‘refugees’…”
    Very, very few Jews, according to Ann, so this shooter was way off base, not that there could even BE a good reason for shooting innocent people.


  4. I think we should be careful before rushing to judgement about whether Bowers acted on general anti ‘refugee’ sentiment.

    He’s reported to live in Castle Shannon, which has been among the areas most badly targeted for resettlement (

    The congregations based out of that synagogue, particularly the Reform ‘Dor Hadash’ congregation, have been extremely supportive of refugee resettlement (in other people’s neighbourhoods).

    I would not be shocked if this man was affected by refugee crime against his friends or family or his own person, made the link back to those who brought them in, and overreacted in this very unfortunate way.


  5. Israel is the Jewish homeland. I would like to know the criteria used to determine if a Jewish refugee should be assisted to go to Israel or some other HIAS destination country.
    HIAS only assists Jewish people. Do the other faith agencies only help their adherents?


    1. HIAS does not only assist Jewish people. All the contractors are required to take any ethnic or religious group in coordination with the US State Department.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jist finished watching Dershowitz on Fox. He was endorsing HIAS as a wonderful, charitable organization. I suppose Derschowitz has never pondered on the fact that HIAS makes a profit from our tax dollars. And they take those tax free dollars, while spewing political views.


    1. The vast majority of even ‘smart’ Americans have no idea that these ‘religious’ charities would go out of business without taxpayer support (aka cash!). HIAS might survive, but much diminished if they were cut off the federal teat. Some of the others would collapse immediately, especially those in the 90+ per cent government funded range.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. And, one more thing, HIAS’s extensive political organizing is causing divisiveness (and the right gets blamed for stirring up trouble!). The feds could easily tell them no political agitation permitted while receiving federal funding, just take good care of the refugees!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s even worse. If you listen to their latest phone call about asylum, you will see that they are fueling the caravans and the invasion on our southern border. If they can’t make refugee money legally, they are willing participants in creating an invasion, a WAR ON OUR BORDER so they can get paid for asylum “case management” instead. When they don’t get their way they sue the mouths that feed them.

        They are despicable people, and all government monies and contracts to them should end immediately.

        You should do a post on that call.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. You are absolutely correct, Ann. By the way, NONE of the “refugee” re-settlement VOLAGs are allowed to proselytize the so-called “refugees” by federal law – specifically because they take federal funds. If our so-called “representatives” cared anything about Americans and the future of our country they could also enact a law that says (essentially) “Because you take federal – taxpayer – funds, you are not allowed to agitate for support in order to fatten your wallets.”


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