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Baltimore Jewish community unites in wake of Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

Posted at 9:51 PM, Oct 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-29 08:00:49-04

The Jewish community in Baltimore is rallying to push back against Anti-Semitism.

On Sunday, hundreds paid their respects to those shot and killed on Saturday in a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Their message...solidarity, as they work to fight back against hate.

Rabbi Andrew Busch was wrapping up a prayer service when he got the news about what was happening three and a half hours away in Pennsylvania.

“It was just a shock and a sadness that our holy space and our holy day would be attacked by senseless violence."

A total of 11 people were killed with several others injured, including four shot police officers.

The Rabbi says the service was much like the one at the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, where members of the city's Jewish community filled the pews, not only to mourn but to stand firm in their faith.

“It gives us an opportunity to voice our support to others and it gives us an answer to those who are Anti-Semitic, those who are filled with hate, that we will not back down. We will gather, we will exercise our rights and our faith.”

Howard Libit, the Executive Director of the Baltimore Jewish Council says to have so many people killed during prayer services during the Sabbath is horrifying; 

“It's our worst fears realized. The conversations I've had with members of our community who are genuinely overwhelmed, who say i can't imagine anything like this happening in our lifetime.”

Across town, dozens packed the block in front of Baltimore's Holocaust Memorial, to pay their respects in a show of unity.

Jonah ben Avraham says “White supremacy is system that targets so many of us. If we are going to prevent these kinds of acts from happening again in the future, then it's going to take all of those people and more who are targeted by the far right uniting and fighting together.”

As Pittsburgh mourns, so does Baltimore, no matter the race, faith, or background,  they hope to pull together to say 'no' to hate.

 "The next steps are many, the synagogues of Baltimore and the Associated Jewish Community Federation have called next Shabbat, 'a Shabbat of Solidarity'. We hope on Friday night and Saturday, depending on the congregation, we hope that everyone goes to their synagogue and gathers in support.”