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Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh shakes HHS students

Nov 6, 2018

The morning of Oct. 27, 2018, the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, was the victim of a brutal shooting. After 11 attendees of the synagogue were killed, the occurrence was deemed an anti-semitic hate crime.

“My family has friends in Pittsburgh, one of which probably came five minutes from being shot. He was about to walk in before a cop stopped him,” said Margo Mandel, junior. “It’s a little crazy just to see how tight the community is, if it touches one person it touches everyone.”

In Minnesota, various congregations from all around the metro area gathered together the following Sunday afternoon to mourn the losses. This service was hosted by Temple Israel in Minneapolis, but invited people from the Twin Cities and beyond.

“Community rabbis are part of the Minnesota Rabbinical Association. Rabbi Weininger and I conferred Saturday night with Rabbi Marcy Zimmerman, whose synagogue Temple Israel hosted, and Steve Hunegs of the Jewish Community Relations Council to make the decision to hold the service. The word was out by eight o’clock Saturday evening. It was inspiring to see the response of the entire community,” said Rabbi Harold Kravitz of Adath Jeshurun Congregation.

Sophie Goldenberg, senior, attended this prayer vigil.

“It was really nice to see all the members of the different synagogues come together, as that doesn’t happen very often. The circumstances that actually brought us together were terrible, but it was good to see everyone work together towards the same cause,” Goldenberg said.

According to a statement issued by the Adath Synagogue in Minnetonka,

“As we mourn the devastation in Pittsburgh, we continue to ensure Adath is a secure environment where Jewish life and learning thrive. These are precisely the moments to be together and show solidarity, from lifting our voices together in prayer to engaging in the beauty of Torah study and acts of loving kindness across generations,” the statement read.

The Monday morning following the event, Mr. Doug Bullinger, principal, made an announcement over the intercom and led a school-wide moment of silence.

“We decided fairly quickly on Sunday that we needed to make some sort of announcement on Monday. I’m not directly affected, so I didn’t want to pretend I was an expert. I wanted to keep it brief but honor it at the same time, less is more. It’s shaken the nation, the state, and the faith that is very prominent here at this school,” Mr. Bullinger said.

James Gulden, senior, attends the Temple Israel synagogue.

“Events like this just make you want to gather up with your community and talk about it. It doesn’t make me afraid to go to the synagogue, because I’m not gonna let the shooter win and control my beliefs with his terror. However, it does make you think, is participating in my beliefs worth risking my life?” Gulden said.

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