PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Over one hundred people gathered at the exact location where they stood six months ago to hold vigil for the 11 victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue shootings.
Saturday night, they stood on that same corner in Squirrel Hill, but this time to pray for the victims of another synagogue shooting, an apparent hate crime, on the other side of the country.
“We really feel and understand the horror of this,” Adam Hertzman told KDKA’s Kym Gable. Hertzman is the Director of Marketing for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. “There has been an undercurrent of hate and anti-semitism and racism and hatred in general in the United States for a very long period of time. ”
Meryl Ainsman, the Federation’s Board Chair, was in San Diego, which is just south of Poway, in February.
“And part of my talk was – how does a community deal with a crisis and that was specifically the reason why I went out there to talk and now that community, dealing with the same crisis.”
Mayor Bill Peduto spoke to the crowd during the Saturday night vigil. Afterwards, he talked to reporters.
“You have to understand once you accept hate speech, hate crime is going to happen. It is the inevitable outcome of an acceptance of hate speech, so we’ve got to roll this back somehow.”