Cantor chants Jewish prayer to honor Pittsburgh shooting victims at close of NBC Nightly News


(JTA) — As Jews in Pittsburgh and throughout the United States gathered in synagogues to send a message to the shooter in the Tree of Life Congregation attack and those like him, NBC Nightly News offered a tribute to the 11 victims of the massacre.

In an unusual ending to Friday’s national broadcast, a cantor recited Kaddish, the mourners’ prayer.

As Cantor Azi Schwartz of the Park Avenue Synagogue in New York chanted the prayer, that has been heard over and over in the last week in Pittsburgh, the news station showed the names and photos of the victims interspersed with scenes from this past week in Pittsburgh.

The broadcast came hours after the last of the 11 victims was buried and on a day on which the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the largest newspaper serving the Pennsylvania city’s metropolitan area, printed a part of the Jewish mourner’s prayer in Hebrew as its front-page headline.

NBC Nightly News host Lester Holt said the gesture was inspired by the newspaper’s cover, which he called “powerful.”

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