Vigil held in Vancouver for victims of Pittsburgh synagogue attack

Pope prays for victims of Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

The Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver hosted the event on Sunday afternoon, as a way to show its solidarity with those impacted by the senseless tragedy.

New Light moved to the Tree of Life building about a year ago, when the congregation of about 100 mostly older members could no longer afford its own space, said administrative assistant Marilyn Honigsberg.

Among the 11 victims shot to death by alleged gunman Robert Bowers on Saturday were Cecil and David Rosenthal, whose sister, Michele, used to work for the Steelers as a community relations manager.

Several temples from different Jewish denominations, kosher restaurants and local shops form what has been called a "vibrant oasis" of Judaism in the city.

It took only 20 minutes for him to pull off what became the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in USA history.

"It's a tight-knit community, everyone knows everyone", said Adam Hertzman, the federation's marketing director.

Jonathan Greenblatt, director of the Anti-Defamation League, said he was encouraged by Trump's words after Pittsburgh but also sounded a note of caution. The larger one, Tree of Life, was set up in 1864.

E Joseph Charny, 90, was worshipping in a room with a half-dozen people when he saw a man appear in the doorway and heard shots ring out, he told The Washington Post. "But I never imagined anyone would do something like this".

Jews make up only about 2 percent of the US population, but in annual Federal Bureau of Investigation data they repeatedly account for more than half of the Americans targeted by hate crimes committed due to religious bias.




The gunman reportedly shouted anti-Semitic phrases during the shooting, which left 11 people dead and five injured, including four police officers.

At the urging of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, President Trump made plans to travel to Pittsburgh this week, following the murder of 11 people at a synagogue in the city, the New York Times reported. He called the attack a "wicked act of mass murder".

A group of Pittsburgh Jewish leaders wrote an open letter to President Donald Trump today telling him he bears responsibility for a deadly shooting at a synagogue in the U.S. city.

"Know that we will spare no effort or resource in insuring that the defendant is held fully accountable for his unspeakable and hateful crimes", Mr. Brady said.

"It is a very horrific crime scene", said a visibly moved Wendell Hissrich, the Pittsburgh public safety director. He expressed hatred of Jews during the rampage and later told police that "I just want to kill Jews" and that "all these Jews need to die", authorities said. The youngest was 54; the oldest was 97. "Divisions have been big in the country".

"We should all be free in this country to practice our chosen religion as we see fit without fear of being singled out for the kind of thing that happened in Pittsburgh", Scott said. "We are dedicating the entire resources of my office to this federal hate crime investigation and prosecution", Scott Brady, the United States attorney for western Pennsylvania, said.

Bowers shot his victims with an AR-15 - the weapon used in numerous nation's mass shootings - and three handguns, all of which he owned legally and had a license to carry, according to a law enforcement official who wasn't authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation, and who spoke Sunday on condition of anonymity.

Gideon Murphy places a flower at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018.

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