Children light candles at prayer gathering in Kelowna Monday in memory of the youngest victims of Saturday’s mass shooting at synagogue in Pittsburgh. — Alistair Waters/Capital News

Victims of shooting at Pittsburgh synagogue remembered in Kelowna

Community urged to stand up and speak out against hatred and violence

Members of the Jewish faith in Kelowna gathered Monday night to remember the 11 people gunned down at a synagogue in Pittsburgh last weekend.

The prayer gathering at the Chabad Okanagan Centre heard moderator Sharon Silver Gitlin say the attack in Pittsburgh was not only an attack on Jews at the Tree of Life Synagogue, but an attack on Jews around the world.

“It was an attack on our freedom to worship and live in peace,” she said.

Quoting the rabbi at the Pittsburgh synagogue, Silver Gitlin said “this will not break us. And this will not ruin us.”

She said now is a time for all to show unity, and for Jews to show they are a resilient people.

The killing in Pittsburgh on Saturday is believed to be the deadliest attack on the Jewish community ever in the U.S. It took the lives of both young and old.

On Monday in Kelowna, candles were lit in the memory of those who died, and prayers were offered for the victims and survivors of the shooting. About 80 people attended the gathering.

In his eulogy, Rabbi Shmuly Hecht called for “quiet diplomacy” from everyone in the community to combat violence and hate.

He said it’s important people speak up, amongst their friends, in their community and in everyday life to send the message that violence and hate are not acceptable.

“We cannot remain indifferent,” he said.

Steven Finkleman, president of the Okanagan Jewish Community echoed Hecht’s call, saying whether it is the killing of Jews at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, the murder of black Christians in a church in Charleston, South Carolina or the shooting of Canadian Muslims at their place of worship in Montreal, “we must stand up in disgust” at such terrorist acts. “Especially when they are aimed at people in their place of prayer,” he said.

“We must resist the hateful rhetoric such as that which is coming out of (the U.S.).”

Irving Goldenberg, who lives in Kelowna and is a former chief justice of the Saskatchewan Supreme Court, read the Lord’s Prayer at the gathering.

He said when he was growing up, he and other Jewish boys would have to leave the room when the prayer was being recited in school.

“I never thought I would be standing in public reciting it,” he said.

But, he added, he now feels that if more people gathered from time to time and recited the words of the prayer, “maybe we can top this madness.”

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Anti-gang cops probe Kelowna’s street-level drug trade over B.C. Day long weekend

CFSEU’s Gang Enforcement Team was deployed to Kelowna last weekend

Roots & Blues announces ticket giveaway ahead of online festival

The festival is streaming free online this year, but those who pre-register can win passes for 2021.

Property tax late fees to kick in soon: City of Kelowna

Nearly 84 per cent of property owners paid their taxes by July 31

Man allegedly wielding knife at Kelowna Superstore arrested

The 29-year-old Kelowna man has been released on strict conditions for a future court date

YMCA reopening Kelowna pools

Kelowna Family Y and H2O Adventure and Fitness Centre reopening Monday, August 10

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

COLUMN: Listen to those who know about COVID-19

Accurate information is essential when understanding the pandemic

Smoker Farms bringing craft-style cannabis to Beaverdell

Husband-wife team growing small-scale cultivations of marijuana

Penticton man wakes to wildfire, forced to evacuate

A wildfire sparked off the side of Highway 97 near Penticton on Thursday

Answers to 5 common questions facing families for the COVID-19 school year

COVID-19 protocols are likely to vary even more at the school board level, and even and school-to-school.

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Most Read