Vigil planned to honor victims of Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

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YAIR ARONSHTAM
  • Yair Aronshtam
Following the slaughter of 11 people at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh, Pa., on Oct. 27, the Temple Shalom and Temple Beit Torah will co-host a prayer vigil in Colorado Springs on Monday, Oct. 29, starting at 5:30 p.m.

Authorities took Robert Bowers, 46, into custody following the shooting that also injured six others, and CBS News reports that U.S. Attorney Scott Brady says federal prosecutors will seek to pursue the death penalty against Bowers. He was to make a first appearance in court Monday, Oct. 29.

According to the charging document, CBS reports, Bowers told one officer, "They're committing genocide to my people. I just want to kill Jews."

The local prayer vigil will feature prayers of healing for those victims who survived the attack and are still being treated for their wounds and honor those who died, the Temples said in a release.

From the release:
All members of the community are welcome to attend. The vigil will begin at 5:30 p.m., and will feature prayers, music and speakers. Participants will include local clergy, elected officials, and other civic leaders. The vigil will take place at Temple Shalom, 1523 E Monument St., Colorado Springs, CO.

In a time of such tragedy, we hope that this gathering will provide a venue for the beginning of healing, the beginning of comfort, and the beginning of a pathway forward.

In addressing his congregation, Rabbi Jay Sherwood of Temple Shalom wrote, "We must never let hate and fear impede our march toward peace and righteousness. We will walk out of the darkness and continue to be a light unto the nations."

May the memories of those murdered in this horrific attack be a blessing.

Temple Shalom was founded in 1971 in Colorado Springs, Colorado and today is a vibrant congregation of more than 250 families which conducts itself according to the principles of both the Reform and Conservative Jewish movements. Its mission is to promote a spiritually centered community that inspires Jewish values, life and learning.

Temple Beit Torah is a Reform Jewish Synagogue founded in 1992 and located in beautiful Colorado Springs, Colorado. Temple Beit Torah strives to provide a warm and truly all-inclusive Reform Jewish community. We are committed to strengthening all of our members in their Jewish identity and knowledge. 
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers issued this statement:

This was a tragic weekend in our nation where we saw reprehensible hate crimes against the black and Jewish communities including an attack and an attempted attack on two places of worship. Such crimes are disgusting acts of cowardice and I want to personally express my deepest condolences to all who grieve; both here in Colorado Springs and across the nation. The Constitution of the United States expressly protects our right to religious freedom and the City of Colorado Springs is committed to upholding that precious right. Let it be known that this city will not tolerate acts of racial, religious or ethnic prejudice and those who would commit such acts will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

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