South Bay Vigils Planned to Mourn Victims of Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre

In light of Saturday’s shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue that left 11 dead, several groups throughout the Bay Area have been holding memorial vigils to mourn one of the deadliest attacks on Jewish people in the U.S.

The 20-minute massacre during a baby-naming service at the Tree of Life Synagogue also wounded six others—four of them police officers. Robert Bowers, the 46-year-old suspected shooter who reportedly posted reams of anti-Semitic slurs on a social media site called Gab, has been charged with 29 counts of hate crimes and weapons offenses.

At San Jose State, Jewish organizations on campus will gather at 6:30 this evening near the Cesar Chavez arc by Seventh Street for a candlelight memorial.

At 5pm Tuesday, the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley will hold an interfaith vigil outside San Jose City Hall. The federation has also set up a crowd-funding account to raise money for survivors of the terrorist attack. Money raised through the fund will help pay for psychological treatment, security services and medical bills. Click here to donate.

Jyl Jurman, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley, said in a statement that the events in Pittsburgh have prompted her to take extra precautions here in the South Bay.

“The peace of Shabbat was shattered [Saturday] morning as we learned of the horrific attack that took place at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh,” she wrote in an email over the weekend. “We are heartbroken and angry. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Pittsburgh Jewish community and the families of the victims of this vicious attack. We have been working with Los Gatos Police Department, San Jose Police Department, Santa Clara County Sheriffs Department and other law enforcement agencies and greatly appreciate their attention to our safety.May the memory of those who so tragically lost their lives be for a blessing.”

Silicon Valley Muslims and members of other religious minority organizations offered condolences to the survivors and condemnation of the attack as well.

“There is a horrifying outbreak of hate and bigotry across America today,” Hasan Zillur Rahim, spokesman for the Evergreen Islamic Center in San Jose, said in a news release. “Our schools, public venues and places of worship are under assault by the intolerant and the violent. Yet we must not give up hope. We must continue to build alliances with majority Americans to stop the violence and the intolerance that are ripping our country apart. We pledge to work unceasingly with our fellow-Americans in ensuring that people of all persuasions and color are safe from acts of lone-wolf or organized groups involved in terrorism or bigotry.”

The San Jose-based Islamic Networks Group, which also issued a statement of solidarity for the Pittsburgh synagogue, launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise money for the survivors. Click here to donate.

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