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Pittsburgh shooting brings Jewish community closer together

At+the+Grand+Army+Plaza+in+Brooklyn%2C+a+few+students+held+a+vigil+in+honor+of+the+11+killed+at+the+Tree+of+Life+synagogue+in+Pittsburgh+Oct.+28.+Over+200+teens+and+families+participated+by+holding+signs+and+banners+while+other+held+candles+and+Israeli+flags.
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Pittsburgh shooting brings Jewish community closer together

At the Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, a few students held a vigil in honor of the 11 killed at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh Oct. 28. Over 200 teens and families participated by holding signs and banners while other held candles and Israeli flags.

At the Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, a few students held a vigil in honor of the 11 killed at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh Oct. 28. Over 200 teens and families participated by holding signs and banners while other held candles and Israeli flags.

Used with permission: Flickr

At the Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, a few students held a vigil in honor of the 11 killed at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh Oct. 28. Over 200 teens and families participated by holding signs and banners while other held candles and Israeli flags.

Used with permission: Flickr

Used with permission: Flickr

At the Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, a few students held a vigil in honor of the 11 killed at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh Oct. 28. Over 200 teens and families participated by holding signs and banners while other held candles and Israeli flags.

Carol Kornworcel, Staff Writer

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Rather than being in Tampa this past weekend, I was at an Israel Advocacy program in Atlanta, and suddenly everyone’s phones go off with thousands of messages from their parents and the news regarding the deadliest shooting towards the Jewish people in the United States. Since then everything we did at the program seemed to only connect to the mass shooting in Pittsburgh Oct. 27 

Saturday is the holiest day of the week in the Jewish faith, which is when the community gets together to pray for Shabbat. Shabbat is the sabbath in Judaism. It is the day of rest which starts on sundown Friday and ends sundown Saturday. Having this shooting happen on the holiest day was something that shook the Jewish community all over.  

Lockdown drills were conducted in some synagogues, frightened kids and parents worrying about if they were next. Knowing that a country where anti-Semitism is almost extinct had to suffer through such a terrifying event, it made people not want to mention they are Jewish.  

I am one of the people who heard about this event and didn’t know what was going to happen next. Knowing that during an important service, someone walked into a synagogue with the intention of murdering as many people as he could not only disgusts me but makes me want to get people to understand that these events are continually happening, and no one has been able to prevent them as much as we want to.  

Jewish people around the world have been discriminated against throughout history. Whether it be in the Holocaust, the terrorism seen in Israel or even other historical mass murders towards Jews, anti-Semitism is something that seems to be growing more and more every time you see the news.  

Being Jewish is something that identifies who I am, and it has always been that way. My religion influences most of my decisions on a daily basis. Judaism has always been a part of my personality as well. People know me as the Jewish girl, and while most may have a problem with that, I don’t because I am open about who I am.  

When this shooting in the Tree of Life synagogue happened, I found it a little ironic how the synagogues name is the Tree of Life, and 11 precious souls were taken. Out of the 11, five were survivors of one of the worst massacres to the Jewish people, the Holocaust. With the victims’ ages ranging from 54-97, this was a scary day for these people.  

David and Cecil Rosenthal, Richard Gottfried, Jerry Rabinowitz, Irving Younger, Daniel Stein, Joyce Fienberg, Melvin Wax, Bernice and Sylvan Simon and Rose Mallinger are the names of those who were murdered.  

At Congregation Rodeph Sholom in Tampa, a vigil was hosted Oct. 28 for all of Tampa’s Jewish community and other religions to be together during such a terrible time.  

The first thing I saw when my mom and I got dropped off was the most police I have ever seen in my life. Probably about 50 police officers were out at my synagogue where I go to pray each week to make sure that everyone who attended was safe.  

This event made a significant impact on me and everyone else around me. There were people from all different backgrounds sharing their stories and thoughts on the situation which made it very emotional.  

Overall, knowing that right after the shooting people began spray painting swastikas and “kill the Jews” on walls of synagogues is terrifying. Hopefully, this will be over, and no one will need to experience what the 11 people in Pittsburgh went through.  

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Pittsburgh shooting brings Jewish community closer together