Three days after what’s believed to be the deadliest attack against Jews in U.S. history, UBC joins a long list of communities that have held vigils to commemorate the 11 people gunned down in their place of worship by a man shouting anti-Semitic slurs.
“We are coming together because it’s important for people to have an opportunity to voice their dismay, and for many, shock,” Rabbi Philip Bregman said.
“If we are going to make a difference, we have to know that it will happen when individuals of differing opinions, of differing religious psychological, philosophical, theological backgrounds, can come and can sit and can be together.”
The vigil, hosted by the student group Hillel BC, is scheduled for 4 p.m., outside the Hillel House on campus, which is home to a memorial for murdered Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl.
“He was murdered because he was a Jew,” Bregman said. “The individuals in Pittsburgh were murdered because they were Jews.”
A memorial to murdered Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl. Credit: Neetu Garcha / Global News
Several Jewish students at UBC say they’re shaken but still showing strength through solidarity.
“I think it’s something that’s really underestimated is how much people still really hate the Jewish community and it’s scary to walk around knowing anyone could just do anything,” said Jewish student Jodi Margit Schneider.
The students plan to light candles and honour the victims of the mass shooting, much like other events held across the country including in Montreal, Edmonton and Toronto.
“I always feel safe here but it’s these attacks that maybe add a sense of nervousness,” said Jewish student Jonah Morris, “but I’m very thankful for the police here they’ve helped here making us feel safe, UBC campus security they’re doing everything they can here on campus especially after these events.”
The vigil at UBC will be held here at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Credit: Neetu Garcha / Global News
Coverage of the Pittsburgh shooting on Globalnews.ca
The UBC event comes about a week before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to formally apologize for Canada’s decision to turn away a boat full of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany in 1939, resulting in the deaths of hundreds.
The vigil also comes the same day U.S. president Donald Trump visits a grieving Pittsburgh as funerals are set to begin at the Tree of Life synagogue.
“As young people, we can stand up and hopefully prevent anything like this in the future,” Schneider said.
The UBC vigil is open to the public.
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