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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Dozens of religious and political leaders gathered at the Jewish Federation of Broward County Monday morning in response to the deadliest antisemitic incident in United States’ history.
The event was held at the Jewish Federation of Broward County in the 5800 block of Pine Island Road.
United States House of Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ted Deutch, and community leaders joined religious leaders addressed the shooting which killed 11 people and wounded six at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh Saturday.
The leaders banded together and spoke out against the most recent hate-driven crime.
A total of eight people from various backgrounds took to the podium in a united front against hatred.
“As we mourn our losses, we also renew our commitment to building the world we want to see. Not just as Jews but as Americans,” said Rabbi Arnold Samlam.
11 candles were lit in remembrance of the lives lost.
The goal of the congregants was to unite in a time of sadness and speak against these violent acts.
“We will fight. We will win the war if we are together and we are united,” said Khalid Mirza, Coalition of South Florida Muslim Organization.
They talked about how we need to come together and not let words become weapons.
“People gathering worshipping. Going to school. Going to the movies. Doing the things they do every single day. It’s just so important that we come together this morning and say, unequivocally, we are united, interfaith, people of differing views, people of similar views that we are one,” said Wasserman Schultz.
Some suggestions for change included stronger monitoring of social media and what they call common sense gun reform.
“In a week where pipe bombs were sent to people because of their political views, two were gunned down in Kentucky because of their race, and 11 were murdered in a synagogue during prayer because they were Jews,” Deutch said.
One of the speakers was a Bat Mitzvah at Tree of Life Congregation and knows many of the congregants.
Suspect Robert Bowers reportedly shouted “All Jews must die!” before opening fire at the synagogue.
The shooting prompted Florida Governor Rick Scott to ask the Florida Highway Patrol to increase security around synagogues.
On Saturday, President Donald Trump said that the outcome of the deadly shooting would have been different had an armed guard been in place and said the country should strengthen death penalty laws in the wake of the massacre.
A recent study by the anti-defamation league says antisemitic acts went up 57% in 2017. The highest spike they’ve ever seen.