(April 11, 2019 / JNS) Pennsylvania lawmakers on Wednesday honored the memory of the 11 Jewish worshippers who were killed in October 2018 at the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
The joint session in the state’s House of Representatives in the capital, Harrisburg, was attended by nearly two-dozen relatives of the victims.
The opening prayer was conducted by Rabbi Jonathan Perlman of the New Light Congregation, which was one of the three services taking place at the synagogue during the shooting.
“This moment of American history and this ravaging Sabbath massacre in my hometown tells us that all is not well in our republic,” said Rabbi Cheryl Klein. “Hate is emboldened, and white supremacists are somehow mainstreamed. This diseased American moment was anti-Semitism in our face. It is ugly, unacceptable, and its condemnation needs to be met with tireless strength.”
“We pray that we are not guilty of inaction. We pray that we are not guilty of complacency,” she added. “We pray that we are not guilty of allowing ourselves to be paralyzed by politics.”
State Rep. Dan Frankel, a Democrat whose district includes the synagogue, said: “The assault on these three congregations was an act of unimaginable evil. But it has been met with unfathomable bravery and love within our community, and far beyond it. Literally hundreds of people acted heroically, starting within seconds of the first gunshot.”