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    Bay Area Communities Mourn Victims of Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

    From Lake Merritt to San Jose City Hall, mourners gathered to remember the 11 victims of the October 27 mass shooting at Tree of Life (L’Simcha Congregation) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The shooting was the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in U.S. history.

    In San Francisco, Mayor London Breed and other City officials joined with Congregation Emanu-El to remember the victims. As Breed said, we “stand in solidarity with people of all faiths against hatred, anti-Semitism and violence.”

    Across the Bay, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín led a vigil. He said, “We condemn this act of bigotry and hatred. Let’s stand together as one community, united, at this difficult time and let everyone know that hate has no place in our community and in our country.”

    California State Senator Scott Wiener issued the following statement: “As a Jew and as an American, my heart is broken about this hate crime massacre. I pray for the victims, their families, and this community that will never be the same. Anti-Semitism is alive and well, and the current political environment only empowers people to act on their worst, most hateful impulses. The right-wing domestic terrorism we are experiencing—fueled by unlimited access to assault weapons and by our President’s disgusting rhetoric and the thugs he inspires—must end. We need to cleanse the body politic.”

    A number of fundraising efforts are underway to assist with burials, repairs to the synagogue, help for the families of the victims and more. They include the following:

    GoFundMe (verified page with funds going directly to Tree of Life): https://bit.ly/2JipxRc

    LaunchGood (Muslims Unite for Pittsburgh Synagogue): https://bit.ly/2z7B6pV

    PayPal (page for Tree of Life): https://www.tolols.org/give

    Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation (page for Tree of Life): https://e.givesmart.com/events/bAV/

    We also wish to highlight the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS). The shooting suspect, Robert Gregory Bowers, wrote on the platform Gab just before the massacre: “HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”

    HIAS, established in 1881, helps to protect Jewish refugees both in the U.S. and around the world. The organization posted this statement after the shooting: “As we try to process this horrifying tragedy, we pray that the American Jewish community and the country can find healing.”

    To donate to HIAS, please go to: https://act.hias.org/page/6048/donate/1