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Local faith groups reach out to the Jewish community after Pittsburgh massacre

Faith groups across the Tennessee Valley are reaching out to the local Jewish community in light of the Pittsburgh massacre.

Posted: Oct 29, 2018 3:56 PM
Updated: Nov 2, 2018 4:48 PM

Faith groups across the Tennessee Valley are reaching out to the local Jewish community in light of the Pittsburgh massacre.

Rabbi Eric Berk at the Temple B'nai Sholom said people from all over Huntsville have been reaching out. They've have also been stopping by and leaving flowers on the steps of the synagogue. 

"I said, 'Oh my God. I can't believe this is happening. This is happening,'" Berk said.

Berk said he never watches TV on the Sabbath but that for some reason he did on Saturday, and the first thing he saw was, "Mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh."

"It broke my heart. It was devastating, because that's me. I'm no different from those people," Berk said. But, he said with help from Huntsville, he knows he and the Jewish community are not alone.

Until Saturday's massacre, the most violent attack on Jews in America was in Gadsden in 1960 when someone threw a bomb in a temple. It didn't go off, but a member of Rabbi Berk's congregation attended that church and remembers it.

While Huntsville has shown its support to the Jewish community, Rabbi Berk said Saturday's attack is a wake-up call that hatred still exists.

"It's a sad reminder for no matter how the Jewish people in America feel accepted, there are still going to be those who seek to harm us and destroy us," he said.

Rabbi Berk said there will be a prayer vigil this Friday at 6 p.m. on the steps of the sanctuary. All places of worship are invited.

"To have that occur anywhere is going to hit close to home. There aren't that many Jewish people in the world. We really are a small minority," Berk said.

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