Vigil for Pittsburgh massacre victims to be held tonight at JW3
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Vigil for Pittsburgh massacre victims to be held tonight at JW3

Board of Deputies and cultural centre organise ceremony to remember the victims of the deadly attack at the Tree of Life shul

People light candles  in Tel Aviv, Israel, in a commemoration of the victims of a deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. A shooter opened fire at a Pittsburgh synagogue, killing 11 people in one of the deadliest attacks on Jews in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
People light candles in Tel Aviv, Israel, in a commemoration of the victims of a deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. A shooter opened fire at a Pittsburgh synagogue, killing 11 people in one of the deadliest attacks on Jews in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

A vigil for the 11 people killed in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting is to be held at 8.30pm this evening at the JW3 community centre in London.

The Shabbat service attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue – the deadliest attack against Jews in recent US history – has united politicians and Jewish communities around the world in support.

Free tickets for the vigil, organised by the Board and JW3, have now sold out but the event will be live streamed on the cultural centre’s website, which you can watch by clicking here.  A Facebook event has also been created.

Following the deadly shooting, Board president, Marie van der Zyl, said: “The UK’s Jewish community stands in solidarity with everyone affected in the US, now and always.”

In London, people gathered on Sunday evening at The Battle of Cable Street mural, remembering the Pittsburgh victims at the location of the famous 1936 street battle against Oswald Mosley’s fascists, fought by Jewish Londoners among others.

In one of several supportive messages from other faiths, the Network of Sikh Organisations said Sikhs stood side-by-side with Jews. “During increasingly polarised times for all faiths, we stand in solidarity with a religious community we have always viewed as our elder brothers and sisters.”

Online, almost 10,000 people raised more than $540,000 for the Tree of Life congregation in just over 24 hours. In 26 countries, Jewish and other religious representatives observed a minute’s silence, while spontaneous vigils were held in Israel and the US, people gathering in disbelief and sorrow.

American Jewish communities organised an act of defiance under the hashtag #ShowUpForShabbat, pledging to fill synagogues across the country next weekend.

“The community of conscience must stand as one, whether in the face of the hate-motivated attack against a black church in Charleston, which took nine lives, or a synagogue in Pittsburgh, which took 11,” said AJC chief executive David Harris. “We are determined to ensure that love triumphs over hate, good over evil, unity over division.”

In a Pittsburgh vigil, the leader of the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh was given a standing ovation in a nearby synagogue when he told congregants that local Muslims had raised $70,000 for the shul.

In the UK as elsewhere, politicians reacted with shock and solidarity. “Synagogues and all places of worship should be sanctuaries,” said London Mayor Sadiq Khan. “London stands with the congregation of the Tree of Life in Pittsburgh.”

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said the “hugely distressing” scenes “underlines starkly the need for us all to stand together against hatred, bigotry and intolerance”.

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