Hundreds gathered at Congregation Beth Shalom to reflect and to remember the 11 people killed in the attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
The interfaith solidarity night drew people from all different walks of life, and over a dozen different religious and local leaders offered words of mourning, love, and unity.
“The despicable events that took place on October 27 in Pittsburgh should not be viewed as only an attack on the Jewish people, but attacks on all of us and what we stand for,” said Shaykh Rizwan Ali, religious director of Islamic Center of Naperville.
“We live in a world that is continually trying to divide us. But I am convinced increasingly that there is no them, there is only us,” said Reverend Mark Winters of the First Congressional United Church of Christ Naperville.
“It was just really about standing alongside our Jewish neighbors and letting them know that we love you, we support you, and just standing up against hate,” said attendee Kim White.
“It’s just that sense of unity, we live in one Naperville and when something like this happens we do need to come together,” said attendee Alissa Johnson Tripas.
Congregation Beth Shalom has taken solace in the outpouring of love and support from the community.
“It makes us feel that we live in a different place. We live in a wonderful place, a wonderful country. The United States of America where we know that there are many people of good will that are going to be helping each other,” said Bernie Newman, former president of Congregation Beth Shalom.
“I think all the negative things that have happened and all of the hatred has actually switched things around and that everybody has come together much more now as a community, recognizing that there’s multiple faiths and we all have to coexist,” said Gregg Yedwab, president of Congregation Beth Shalom.
The evening closed with readings of Psalm 23, the Jewish Mourner’s Kaddish, and a singing of God Bless America.
Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.
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