The Seattle area Jewish community gathered on Sunday for vigils to mourn the victims of the mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. A vigil and prayer service featuring interfaith leaders was scheduled for Monday evening at Temple De Hirsch Sinai.
News of the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue spread Saturday as Seattle’s Jewish community started to gather for Sabbath services.
On Sunday, many came together again to mourn.
Eleven people were killed, and six more wounded, when a man armed with a semiautomatic assault-style rifle and handguns entered the Tree of Life synagogue and began shooting. The alleged gunman, Robert Bowers, 46, faces dozens of federal and state charges, including homicide and civil-rights and hate-crime charges.
Thousands of mourners attended an interfaith memorial service in Pittsburgh on Sunday evening to mourn what is believed to be the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in U.S. history.
In Seattle, faith leaders and educators worked to reassure congregants — and especially parents of young children — that synagogue was a safe place, and area police departments said they stepped up patrols at houses of worship after the shooting.
Temple Beth Am, in Northeast Seattle, and West Seattle’s Kol HaNeshamah both held gatherings to mourn the victims of the attack Sunday.
On Monday, Temple De Hirsch Sinai, in association with the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and Jewish Family Service, will host a vigil and prayer service with other faith leaders at its Capitol Hill sanctuary at 1441 16th Ave. The services, which are open to the public, begin at 7 p.m.
“Being a ‘light unto the nations,’ means acting and speaking with moral clarity — to stand with those who are threatened, marginalized and vulnerable in our community,” Marty Nelson and Rabbi Will Berkovitz of Jewish Family Service, a Seattle-based social-service group, said in a message to the community, quoting from the Book of Isaiah.
On Monday, “we will do just that…to be in solidarity with the victims, to mourn the dead and to speak out against this rising tide of hatred.”