Anti-Semitism vigil held in response to Pittsburgh shooting

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Image Credit: Meg Howells

A vigil was held at 7:30pm on 28th October at Radcliffe Square in response to the anti-Semitic attack at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

The shooting, which took place on Saturday morning at the Tree of Life synagogue resulted in the death of 11 people. It was reported that the gunman shouted “all Jews must die” as he entered the building.

The suspect, a 46 year old man, has been taken into custody.

The victims were named on Sunday as Joyce Fienburg, 75; Richard Gottfried, 65; Rose Mallinger, 97; Jerry Rabinowitz, 66; Cecil Rosenthal, 59; David Rosenthal, 54; Bernice Simon, 84; Sylvan Simon, 86; Daniel Stein, 71; Melvin Wax, 88; and Irving Younger, 69.

Two people from the synagogue and four officers are also being treated for injuries following the incident.

In response, the vigil was held by Oxford Jewish Society, which saw prayers and songs from members of the Jewish community, and members of the public who wished to show support. Candles were lit in memory of the victims.

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”.

President of the Oxford JSOC, Harrison Engler, said: “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.”

The United Nations spoke out about Saturday’s massacre, calling it 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.”

Jonathan Sacks, Former UK Chief Rabbi, said on 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.”

A reporter from The Oxford Student at the scene estimated that 150 people attended the vigil.