UK Jewish communal vigils to take place in response to Pittsburgh synagogue attack

Service have been announced in both London and Liverpool on Monday, as well as a global initiative for this coming Shabbat


The UK Jewish community will hold vigils across the country on Monday evening for the 11 people killed in a mass shooting attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue.

They died when a man opened fire on the congregation at the city's Tree of Life Synagogue, in what the ADL belives is the deadliest antisemitic attack in United States history.

In response, JW3, the north London community centre, will hold an event at 8.30pm this evening, in association with the Board of Deputies.

In a joint statement, JW3 and the Board said the vigil was “cross-communal and multi-faith… open to anyone of any background, faith, race or community who wishes to join us in solidarity.

"We will join together in solidarity and remembrance for those who were killed in Pittsburgh, and we will stand against hatred.

“We will be joined by a number of guest speakers who will share their reflections, read poems, light memorial candles, and lead us in song.

There will be a chance for all guests to write messages of condolence and support in a special memorial book that will be sent to the Jewish community of Pittsburgh later this week.”

Another vigil will take place at Childwall synagogue in Liverpool from 7pm, with organisers urging the local community to “let us come together and show solidarity with our fellow Jews”.

The Brighton Jewish Rep Council has also announced a vigil to take place this evening at Hove Town Hall from 6pm.

The UK’s Jewish Leadership Council is “collating messages of solidarity and support to send to the Pittsburgh Jewish community”, with members of the public invited to fill in an online form so their messages can be included.

The JLC has pledged to “make sure that your words reach the community.”

The United Synagogue is encouraging people to take part in an initiative, originally proposed by the American Jewish Committee (AJC), called “Show up for Shabbat”, where Jews are being encouraged to attend synagogues on Friday night and Saturday in response to the attack.

United Synagogue President Michael Goldstein said: “We are not just bound by a common religion. Our heritage dictates that we are one family.

"Antisemites will never understand this. It may not be Pesach time but we have been singing Vehi she’amda: each generation they may try to destroy us but the Almighty is there to support us and we will get stronger.

“With this in mind, I want to invite you to join me in a show of strength this Shabbat... Let’s show our solidarity with the Pittsburgh community with this message from our communities to theirs.

“We must all remain vigilant. We are blessed by an outstanding organisation in CST, our selfless, committed local security volunteers and supportive police forces.

"Please take the opportunity to thank them for what they do, take time to understand the security protocols in your synagogue, and if you are able, take part in security training.”

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