(September 12, 2019 / JNS) An initiative by the American Jewish Committee invites people of all faiths to join Jews in synagogues for Shabbat services on Oct. 25-26 as a show of solidarity timed to the first anniversary of the deadly massacre at the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh.
The AJC launched #ShowUpForShabbat following the murder of 11 Jewish worshippers on Oct. 27, 2018, when a lone gunman entered the building during Shabbat-morning services. Exactly six months later, on April 27, 2019, a similar shooting took place at Chabad of Poway, Calif.; as a result of that shooting, a 60-year-old Jewish woman was killed in the synagogue lobby.
“The sanctity of Jewish houses of worship—the sense of American Jewish security—changed dramatically after these fatal terror attacks,” said AJC CEO David Harris. “But the outpouring of support from political and religious leaders was energizing, demonstrating Americans’ determination to come together to fight hate, in this case hatred of Jews. One year later, we wish to remember the victims of maniacal hatred and unite with people of good will in the struggle against rising anti-Semitism.”
AJC’s first #ShowUpForShabbat initiative took place right after the shooting, on the weekend of Nov. 2, 2018.
It was the largest show of solidarity with the Jewish community in American history. More than 250 million people used the hashtag on Facebook and Twitter, and millions attended services at synagogues in the United States and abroad on Friday evening and Saturday morning.
A list of synagogues participating in the upcoming #ShowUpForShabbat initiative is on the AJC’s website.
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