Some leaders in Columbus’ Jewish community shocked, fearful after deadly synagogue attack in Pittsburgh

Some leaders in Columbus’ Jewish community shocked, fearful after deadly synagogue attack in Pittsbu

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - After 11 worshipers were killed in the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history, local leaders in the Jewish community are speaking out.

"Our members are shocked and fearful," said Rabbi Beth Schwartz of Columbus' Temple Israel.

Government officials in Pennsylvania are not mincing words after the attack at Tree of Life Synagogue.

“The fact that this attack took place during a worship service makes it even more heinous,” announced U.S. Attorney Scott Brady.

As investigators continue to comb through evidence, Pittsburgh’s mayor is pushing back on hate, “We will drive antisemitism and hate back to the basement on their computer, and away from the open discussion and dialog around this city, state and country.”

Schwartz says the thoughts and actions of this alleged killer are not natural.

"Hatred is something you have to learn. Antisemitism is something you have to learn and apparently it is very difficult to unlearn."

Schwartz says this painful experience will help her community better serve others. “If we know what it’s like to suffer, to feel excluded, then we have an obligation to work on behalf of others who are excluded and fell prejudiced.”

The congregation will be holding an interfaith prayer service on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Temple Israel. More resources about how you can help lend support during this tragic time will be available at the service

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