Shep Englander — Federation Journal
We Are Stronger Than Hate
A community’s strength is seen in how it responds to crisis and tragedy. On Sunday night, with little notice, more than 1,200 people came together at the Mayerson JCC to cry, pray, hug and to be together. It was probably the largest gathering in our community in decades. When the Amberley Room overflowed a second vigil formed organically outside the building. with rabbis shuttling back and forth.
Alongside our community members were leaders of Muslim, Sikh, and Christian congregations; and other faith and ethnic communities; and civic leaders from across our region. Our community’s rabbis from virtually every stream and congregation, worked together seamlessly to serve the two simultaneous vigils. It was powerful and moving. We are truly Stronger Than Hate.
Our rabbis spoke from their hearts to our fear, anger, and worry that it could happen here. Synagogues, they said, should be refuges we run to, not from, when the worst happens.
This is the first time in American history that Jews were killed in their synagogues. We are horrified and heartbroken. We have needed to grieve. Today we are ready to act. You have asked what you can do. Please do at least one of these:
+ Participate in the National Solidarity Shabbat this weekend–show we won’t be intimidated. From Toronto to Tampa. Montreal to Minneapolis. Cincinnati to Corpus Christi. Congregations across the continent are participating in Solidarity Shabbat: Stand With Pittsburgh. Please join us. #SolidarityShabbat#strongerthanhate #ShowUpForShabbat
+ Write a letter or card of support to the Pittsburgh Jewish community, I will hand-deliver them on Thursday.
+ Support the victims of the Pittsburgh shooting by donating to our Stronger Than Hate Fund. (Click below for specifics on all the above options.)
If you missed it, you can watch the outside prayer vigil here: