Pittsburgh synagogue shooting brings San Diegans together with Vigil to honor victims

Megan Blacher, Staff Writer

After the shooting in The Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, the Jewish Community in San Diego responded by holding a vigil at the Beth Israel Congregation in La Jolla for everyone who wanted to honor the 11 lives lost.

Although on the Facebook event almost 800 people confirm, the turnout was way over that. By 7 p.m. the doors to enter the sanctuary area were closed, as they had reached maximum capacity. Once the service started, the courtyard area of the synagogue was filled with people who were hearing the ceremony through a speaker.

The service’s message was highlighted throughout the vigil, there should be no space for hate.

The vigil service was put on by the Anti-Defamation League which they titled “Standing Together Against Hate.” Letters were also being handed out for people to write which would be later sent to the Tree of Life synagogue. Many of the attendees had also a sticker on their clothes that read “no plate for hate”.

Besides Jewish speakers, such as Rabbi Devorah Marcus of Temple Emanu-El and Lee Abed, a San Diego State University student and Chabad member, speakers of the Sikh and Muslim community also participated, sending messages of love and support.

The vigil was held Monday night at 7 p.m. and it lasted for two hours.

Alisa McRee, a San Diego Mesa College student who attended the vigil expressed her opinion on the shooting. “This violent act of hatred reminds us anti-semitism still exists today and words will hurt you.” She added that we must “remember that every genocide and violent act of racism started with hateful words.”

Rabbi Devorah Marcus sent a message to the community during the service, “I want you to do three things when you get home”, she said. “I wanna ask us to subscribe to a newspaper when you get home”, highlighting the importance of staying up to date with the news and becoming aware of what is happening in our country. She also encouraged people to vote in the midterm elections on Nov. 6 and to reach out to someone out of each individual’s comfort zone. She added that Jews should reach out to Muslims, and vice versa and that Republicans should reach out to Democrats, and the other way around.