Penn State Vigil Honors Victims of Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

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In the attack, 11 people attending sabbath services tragically lost their lives and at least six others were wounded in what's being referred to as the worst anti-Semitic attack in American history. Bowers is charged with 29 felony counts, including 11 counts of use of a firearm to commit murder and 11 counts of obstruction of the exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death.

It was his second brief appearance in a federal courtroom since authorities say he opened fire Saturday at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood. "To be part of it, to get us together, to show unity".

There was also healing work to take care of. He wanted to explain to a largely - but not exclusively - liberal Jewish community why he welcomed President Trump, who visited Pittsburgh along with First Lady Melania Trump on Tuesday.

After members from among Tree of Life's three congregations took turns reading the Torah portion for the day, Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, the rabbi of Tree of Life, stood up to give the sermon. "We just can't let it go away".

I think that adage now applies to Squirrel Hill.

The ADL, a nonprofit group dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism and all forms of hate, said last week that far-right extremists had stepped up "online propaganda offensives" in the run-up to the elections to attack and to try to intimidate Jews.

He spoke about God and country, and how you can not fight hate with hate.

A father and his two sons walk home from synagogue November 3, 2018, on Douglas Street in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood.

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The three congregations attacked at a Pittsburgh synagogue will gather for a joint service Saturday, while a prayer vigil is planned outside their desecrated worship space to mark the time the massacre began one week earlier. It is still an Federal Bureau of Investigation crime scene.

"I never thought I'd say this, but "thoughts and prayers" feel great", said David Chudnow, volunteer manager at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, who participated in the events.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald attended the feast of chicken, sesame noodles, green beans, fruit crisp and of course, challah, the traditional bread eaten on Shabbat.

Deborah Scharf, who lived in Pittsburgh for 15 years before returning to Canada in 2015, said the Squirrel Hill neighbourhood is a lovely place with old homes, attractive parks, and friendly people, which reminds her a lot of the Vicker's Park area here in town. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

More than 43,000 people have signed the letter, organized and posted online by the Pittsburgh chapter of Bend the Arc, a Jewish organization opposed to what it calls "the immoral agenda of the Trump administration and the Republican Party".

"We have to mourn the victims, and we should do that with our friends and allies in the Jewish community and beyond", said Brian Siegal, director of the AJC in Miami and Broward.

"I thought something like that, something so awful, even though the community is so small, we could organize something to show our solidarity, to send our prayers to the victims and their families in Pittsburgh", she said.

This story is available for republication.

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