The importance of unity — of caring for one another — was a message shared by an overflowing crowd meant to show solidarity with those who were killed and the community that was affected by a deadly shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.
DENVER — A place in Denver typically used for Jewish people to worship overflowed with people of all faiths on Sunday night. Denver’s Temple Emanuel hosted a solidarity rally following a shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh that killed 11 people.
The overwhelming message from the interfaith vigil was one of strength, resilience and intolerance of hate.
“Anti-Semitism and any other form of discrimination debases our culture, degrades our values,” said Governor John Hickenlooper to Sunday’s crowd.
Among a list of 11 speakers was Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen and Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz who agreed that violence, like the kind that happened over the weekend in Pittsburgh and the mass shootings at Columbine High School and a theater in Aurora, should never be accepted as the norm.
“I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of coming together under these circumstances,” Metz said. “And like you, I’m not going to become numb to it.”
Colorado Muslim Society released a statement, read by Qusair Mohamedbhai, expressing their position of support for members of the Jewish community.
“Misguided people will always seek ways to destroy the fabric of peace, tolerance, and respect that brings this great country together,” the statement reads in part. “Colorado Muslims are determined to echo the voices of love and harmony and stand in firm solidarity with our Jewish neighbors, friends, and other vulnerable communities in the face of bigotry and hate. We pray for their safety and well-being and extend our hands in their support.”
Rabbi Jay Strear with JEWISHcolorado said justice needs to be sought for the shooting he described as a “heinous crime.”
“At the same time, our community can’t be torn apart as a result of that,” Strear said. “We need to come together through peace, love, care and compassion to ensure that the values of our people and of our national value as Americans are protected.”