Vigil held outside Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue building for Poway shooting victims


(JTA) — Dozens gathered to express sorrow for the shooting at a synagogue in Poway, California, at the site of the shooting exactly six months ago at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

The vigil took place outside the Tree of Life synagogue building where a gunman killed 11 worshippers on Oct. 27.

“My words of ‘never again’ have disappeared from my language,” Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers told the crowd, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. “They’ve been replaced with ‘yet again.’ And so it is that we stand here yet again at this corner as one united community.”

The rabbi, who was in the Tree of Life synagogue on the day of the October attack, led the crowd in reciting Kaddish, the Jewish mourner’s prayer.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto joined the vigil.


“It was only six months ago to the day that we became members of that tragic club of community-based shootings to which no one wants to belong,” read a statement from Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, The Associated Press reported.

“We know first-hand the fear, anguish and healing process such an atrocity causes, and our hearts are with the afflicted San Diego families and their congregation. We will not give in to H(asterisk). These senseless acts of violence and prejudice must end. Enough is enough!”

Pittsburgh’s Public Safety Department said in a statement that it was monitoring the situation in Poway and would increase security as necessary. It urged the public to remain vigilant and alert emergency officials if they see anything suspicious.

“We understand this heartache all too well,” Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with those in the San Diego area, and our actions locally are and will continue to be focused on keeping everyone safe.”

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