‘Working Together’ holds vigil to mourn shootings at Beth Israel

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Jacksonians respond to the deadliest anti-semitic mass killing in U.S. history.

Groups in the metro area called for prayer followed by action for change.

The prayer meeting was held at Beth Israel congregation. Congregants, along with ‘Working Together Jackson’ are doing what they can in the face of this horrific event. The group prides itself on celebrating diversity while also building bridges and knocking down the emotional walls that keep us from understanding each other.

Speakers from all faiths offered their condolences while praying in their own unique way. The senseless violence a the Tree of Life in Pittsburgh has impacted people of all religious, racial and social backgrounds.

“ When the church was shot up in North Carolina, we all went and rallied because it could’ve been us,” Beth Israel Member, Dana Larkin said. “It could be anybody in this state. While it was definitely directed at Jews this time, it could be anybody.”

he people behind the assembly say unity is needed now more than ever. This past week alone, our country has dealt with several tragedies. Aside from the mass killing in Pittsburgh, there was a deadly shooting at a Kroger in Kentucky targeting African-Americans, and the intended terror after the mailing of several pipe bombs sent to their public figures.

Despite the pain that will take time to heal, several people at the assembly told us the message was received loud and clear.

“It was so important that we all got together and they were able to speak about the need for peace and getting along, and not hatred,” Lauren Rosenbaum-Brown said. “We have to understand differences and understand each other and work together for peace and love.”

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Almost a thousand miles separate Jackson from Pittsburg. But this weekend’s shooting might as well have been in our own backyard.

The response to the violence responsible for the deaths of eleven at Tree of Life congregation in Pennsylvania is evident at Beth Israel on Old Canton Road.

Various congregations from the metro reached out. People called, sent flowers and reached out to friends in the local Jewish community.

Governor Phil Bryant ordered flags lowered to half-staff.

And ‘Working Together Jackson’, a collective of faith and civic groups, organized a prayer vigil at the synagogue. WJTV 12’s Terrance Friday is there and will have more at noon.

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