People of all faiths are invited to show their solidarity with Jews on Shabbat Oct. 25 and Oct. 26 – one day before the first anniversary of shootings at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh.
On Oct. 27, 2018, a gunman shot and killed 11 worshipers and injured several people, sending shockwaves through Pittsburgh and across the country.
The following weekend, on Nov. 2 and Nov. 3, Jews and non-Jews packed pews in temples and synagogues across the country in a show of solidarity. The American Jewish Committee estimated synagogue attendance in millions.
“The murder of 11 innocent Jews at prayer represented the worst of humanity,” Lee C. Shapiro, regional director of AJC Cleveland, wrote in an email. “The following Shabbat, we saw the best.“
This year, the AJC is planning #ShowUpForShabbat to coincide with the anniversary of the shootings.
“It’s such a meaningful response from the community to show faith in the face of adversity and solidarity with Jews across the world,” said Rabbi Avi Goldstein, who leads the Columbus Board of Rabbis and is rabbi at Beth Jacob Congregation in Columbus. “I mean, terrorists, they try and make you terrified. That’s the whole goal. And the concept of #ShowUpForShabbat is to say that we won’t change our way of life. On the contrary, even those who don’t necessarily come every Shabbat will make an effort to come that Shabbat. I think it’s an extremely important thing.”
The AJC estimated more than 250 million online engagements through Twitter and Facebook a year ago. It is offering registration to synagogues that plan to participate and lists them by city or region.
“The sanctity of Jewish houses of worship, the sense of American Jewish security, changed dramatically after these fatal terror attacks,” AJC CEO David Harris said, according to a news release. “When our core values as a nation are tested by the attacks on Pittsburgh and Poway synagogues, and assaults on Jews elsewhere, we stand united with all who are determined to ensure that love triumphs over hate, good over evil, unity over division. That’s our America.”
The Columbus Jewish News is a media partner of #ShowUpForShabbat.