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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – One week after the murder of 11 worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the American Jewish Community is asking for Jewish people to pack temples and synagogues in a show of solidarity and support.
At the Chabad of Weston and Temple Judea in Coral Gables, there was a resounding refrain Friday night as people came together for the first weekend services since the deadly violence.
“We want to show that we’re not afraid and no one will make us afraid,” said Ricky Givony in Weston.
Martin Tauber echoed her sentiment saying, “The Jewish people have always survived.”
In Coral Gables, Rabbi Judith Siegal said the Jewish people must join together as they have in the past.
“We will not cower,” she said. “We will not be afraid.”
It is a message that in the face of hatred and anti-semitism, the Jewish people — and people who stand with them — will be united and resilient.
“I think it’s important to show that we are standing up for what we believe in and aren’t going to sit home and feel uncomfortable about coming to synagogue,” said David Benmoha in Weston.
At the Chabad of Weston, a Broward Sheriff’s deputy sat outside the temple as Rabbi Yisroel Spalter led services inside preaching acceptance, tolerance and love.
“We’re not gonna allow such acts, such heinous acts to torpedo us, to bring us down, or be victorious against us and the only answer to such darkness is light and more goodness,” Rabbi Spalter said.
But for many, there is a concern over the violence unleashed in Pittsburgh.
“I never thought it was coming to America but now it’s here and it’s getting worse and worse,” said Givony.
In Coral Gables at Temple Judea, hundreds gathered including leaders from the community and from other faiths. Leaders at this church say it is the responsibility of the Jewish people to work to heal the violence and discord in our society to prevent other Pittsburgh’s.
“I expect the community to get a sense of comfort and solidarity and solace but also a sense of strength and hope,” said Rabbi Siegal.
The American Jewish Community is hoping for similar scenes at temples and synagogues across the country. They’ve created a hashtag — #ShowUpForShabbat — to mark the effort.