Tulsa Synagogue Hosts Memorial Service For Pittsburgh Victims

Tuesday, October 30th 2018, 6:45 pm
By: Justin Shrair

The Tulsa community came together Tuesday night after an attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh – the deadliest attack ever on Jewish people in America.

Hundreds of people from different religious backgrounds packed into Congregation B’Nai Emunah near 17th and Peoria to remember the 11 people who lost their lives in Pittsburgh over the weekend.

“All of us are brought low in such moments.  All of us are made less safe and secure,” said Rabbi Marc Boone Fitzerman.  “But even in the midst of this terrible vulnerability, I choose with you to feel hope and strength.”

Religious leaders from around the Tulsa community delivered sermons and speeches in an act of solidarity after 11 lives were lost to show the Jewish community that they stand with them.

“We are here tonight to affirm that antisemitism is a vile form of hatred,” said Reverend Marlin Lavanhar.  “As we mourn this week’s dead in Pittsburgh, we also mourn the millions who’ve lost their lives over the centuries of antisemitism.”

Community leaders and other lit candles as a shofar, a ram’s horn, sounded for each of the 11 people, as the biographies of the dead were read aloud.  The goal was to honor each and every Jewish person who was killed.

People of all ages attended the service, including 17-year-old Ava Bumgarner.

“It’s amazing.  It shows just how much that, like, hate can’t win.  It shows everyone coming together is the only way we can get through this,” said Bumgarner.

Others who attended the service say they want the people of Pittsburgh to know they are in their thoughts and prayers, no matter what, as the Jewish community and many other religious communities continue to mourn and support one another.

“There’s love all over this country for them, and the hate cannot win out,” said Emily Bolusky.

More than 500 people attended the memorial service – even more than organizers anticipated.