Jewish community hopes for change after Pittsburgh synagogue shooting
The Jewish community suffered a tragedy on Saturday, Oct. 27 when a shooter unleashed a spiteful round of gunshots at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh killing 11 people according to The New York Times.
The Anti-Defamation League said that it is the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history. According to the Federal Criminal Complaint, the shooter commented to one law enforcement officer upon arrest, "They're [Jews] committing genocide to my people. I just want to kill Jews."
Though the travesty took place in Pittsburgh, Jews around the nation felt an emotional aftershock.
Rabbi Moshe Scheiner of the Palm Beach Synagogue said the city of West Palm Beach extended its condolences to the Jewish community. People from all religions and backgrounds reached out to the Palm Beach Synagogue with countless emails, texts and phone calls.
“It’s very comforting and encouraging to see the unity and the support from the broader community,” Scheiner said.
Scheiner thinks that one of the major outcomes of the Pittsburgh shooting is a greater emphasis on security measures in Jewish facilities. He also said that now is the time to uproot anti-Semitism in American society.
“We as a community will never cower or run from fear, God forbid, but we’ll stand strong together and strengthen each other,” Scheiner said.
Paulette Fuerst, a biology student at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Fla., heard about the synagogue shooting the day it occurred. Fuerst, a descendant of Holocaust victims, understands anti-Semitism happens every day, and that it is part of growing up as a Jew.
“Throughout history, the Jews have always been oppressed, and you hear about them coming out stronger,” Fuerst said.
She thinks, although the shooter was ignorant of Jewish culture, his heinous acts were solely driven by immense hatred. Fuerst has come to terms with the magnitude of the recent shooting, and she continues to stay optimistic. She emphasized how Jews pray for peace during such a chaotic time.
“[In Judaism], we always remember and we always take into account what tragedies have occurred,” Fuerst said. “Even though there is hate and people don’t like Jews, [we] can still practice [our] culture.”
By: Hannah Gonsman, Lars Essington and Amber Amortegui