Oxford Jewish Society to hold vigil for Pittsburgh synagogue attack victims

The anti-Semitic attack at the Tree of Life synagogue during its Sabbath service killed eleven people

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Oxford Jewish Society (JSoc) are to hold a public vigil following yesterday’s attack at synagogue in Pittsburgh.

The shooting, which took place at the Tree of Life synagogue during its Sabbath service, killed eleven people, and is believed to be the worst anti-Semitic attack on US soil in recent history.

The vigil will take place this evening at 7.30pm in Radcliffe Square.

In a public statement, Oxford JSoc said: “Oxford Jewish Society is horrified and saddened by the appalling anti-Semitic attack on Pittsburgh over Shabbat. We would like to express our sadness and solidarity with the Pittsburgh Jewish community and the Tree of Life congregation.

“Oxford JSOC is here for Jewish students who want to mourn, and process this event… We will be holding a public vigil for Jewish students and the wider community.”

JSOC President, Harrison Engler, told Cherwell: “We are shocked and horrified by these events. This is a time for all students and residents of Oxford to stand behind the Jewish community, to mourn the victims of this attack.”

Yesterday evening, an interfaith vigil was held for victims of the attack at the synagogue in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh.

A 46-year-old has been charged with murder following the massacre, and US prosecutors say hate crime charges will be filed. The gunman reportedly shouted, “All Jews must die,” as they entered the synagogue.

The United Nations called Saturday’s massacre a “painful reminder of continuing antisemitism.”

They added: “Jews across the world continue to be attacked for no other reason than their identity. Antisemitism is a menace to democratic values and peace, and should have no place in the 21st century.”

The President of the British Board of Deputies of British Jews said: “Innocent worshippers [were] gunned down in cold blood…The UK Jewish community stands in solidarity with everyone affected in the US.”

Former UK Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks said, via Twitter: “This attack, which is being reported as the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States, is a tragic reminder that, somehow, within living memory of the Holocaust, we still live in a world where antisemitism exists and deadly attacks on Jews take place.”

Further details about Oxford Jsoc’s vigil can be found at this link. All are welcome to attend. A combination of prayers and poems will be read in Hebrew and English to mourn those lost and give support to the injured.

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