The oldest Jewish congregation in Southern California will host a community vigil Monday night in the wake of Saturday’s attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue that left 11 dead.
The event at Congregation Beth Israel is being organized by the local chapter of the ADL in partnership with the Jewish Community Foundation San Diego, Jewish Family Service of San Diego, the Jewish Federation of San Diego County, the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, the Leichtag Foundation, and the San Diego Rabbinical Association.
“Now, more than ever, we must stand together as a community in this moment to denounce anti-Semitism and hate in all of its forms,” said a letter to members of Beth Israel, which was founded in 1861.
Issued Sunday by Senior Rabbi Michael Berk, congregation President Gary Hirschfeld and Executive Director Lesley Mills, the letter said: “This tragic act of violence offers a sobering reminder of what feelings of hate can look like in action.”
The “Standing Together Against Hate” vigil honoring the lives taken at Tree of Life synagogue is set for 7 p.m. at Beth Israel, 9001 Towne Centre Drive in University City.
The letter said all bags will be checked, with large bags not allowed, and “please be prepared to show ID.”
The ADL said that the “unthinkable” had happened in the American Jewish community.
“It is simply unconscionable for Jews to be targeted during worship on a Sabbath morning, and unthinkable that it would happen in the United States of America in this day and age,” said national ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.
“Unfortunately, this violence occurs at a time when ADL had reported a historic increase in both anti-Semitic incidents and anti-Semitic online harassment.”
San Diego’s Roman Catholic leader issued a statement as well, saying his faith community “stands in solidarity and love with the Jewish community of our nation.”
“The shock and horror of the Pittsburgh shooting confront us with the reality that hatred and violence abound in the country that we all cherish,” said the Most Rev. Robert McElroy. “And the targets of that hatred and violence remind us of the virulence of anti-Semitism, an unforgivable sin against God for which our own Catholic Church bears grave historic responsibility.”
On Saturday, prominent San Diegans including Mayor Kevin Faulconer and state Sen. Pro Tem Toni Atkins reacted on social media.
The attack on a house of worship in Pittsburgh was a horrific act. We must stand together as a nation and declare that anti-semitism and any other form of hate is un-American and unacceptable. San Diego stands with our brothers and sisters in Pittsburgh.
— Kevin Faulconer (@Kevin_Faulconer) October 28, 2018
Our hearts are broken over the cowardly and hateful attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue In Pittsburgh. @SanDiegoDDAs mobilized our specialized Hate Crimes team working with our law enforcement partners, Anti-Defamation League and synagogues to protect and prevent harm in SD.
— Summer Stephan (@SummerStephan) October 28, 2018
Saddened to learn of today’s horrific mass shooting in #Pittsburgh. My thoughts are with the victims, their families, and Jewish people across the country. It is heinous that someone would commit murder in a house of worship. @NYTimes https://t.co/tHQdYnAzg5
— Scott Peters CA-52 (@ScottPetersCA52) October 27, 2018
RIP – Pittsburgh Massacre Victims:
Joyce Feinberg- 75
Richard Gotfried- 65
Rose Malinger- 97
Jerry Rabinowitz- 66
Cesil Rosenthal (brother)- 59
David Rosenthal (brother)- 54
Bernice Simon (wife)- 84
Sylvan Simon (husband)- 86
Daniel Stein- 71
Melvin Wax- 88
Irving Youngner- 69 pic.twitter.com/L7AjlIrlSi
— Shelley Zimmerman (@ChiefZimmerman) October 28, 2018
My heart breaks for the families of the victims at the Tree of Life Synagogue, as well as the survivors coping with the trauma. My heart hurts for all who have lost their way in this world and have succumbed to anger and hate. We must show every day that there is a better way.
— Senator Toni Atkins (@SenToniAtkins) October 27, 2018
I am horrified by the heinous attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.
We as a country must all join together in condemning the rising tide of white nationalism, racism and hatred directed at Jewish people and other minorities. pic.twitter.com/FxjGlU51yX
— Ammar Campa-Najjar (@ACampaNajjar) October 27, 2018
Words cannot express the anguish and heartbreak that I feel for the families of those injured and killed at the Tree of Life Synagogue in my home state.
— @barbarabryD1 (@barbarabryd1) October 27, 2018
Another great personal account, this from my friend @theblatt, who grew up on the same block and also had his bar mitzvah at Tree of Life: “The public sphere is being poisoned, and now people have been killed in the town I love.” https://t.co/uaoX7p0b3U
— Harry Litman (@harrylitman) October 28, 2018
Well done by Steelers. https://t.co/UZWbJKzDHj
— Jay Posner (@sdutPosner) October 28, 2018
If you feel need to have an assault weapon, @USMC has recruiting offices in most every city-feel free to join. They have no place in our communities.
Mass Shooters Attack With the Rifle Firepower Typically Used by Infantry Troops via @NYTimes https://t.co/HUdR7zEjt7
— Nathan Fletcher (@nathanfletcher) October 27, 2018