Students at Florida International University gathered to light white candles in honor of the lives lost in Pittsburgh after a gunman murdered 11 worshipers gathered in a synagogue for Shabbat services. As each flame was sparked, the names and stories of the fallen were read.
Hillel FIU is a student-organization which aims to unite students and faculty through Jewish culture and education. Director Jon Warech invited the community of all faiths to stand together in moments of tragedy.
“This past Shabbat, our Jewish community was shaken to its core as we remember the largest anti-Semitic act of terrorism in U.S. history. The lives lost at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania affect us all, not just as Jews, but as Americans,” said Warech.
Rabbi Levi Friedman, from Chabad FIU, prayed and sang the Mourner’s Kaddish at the vigil. He says concrete actions of kindness can change the world.
“In times like these, there really is not much to say. All we can do is rededicate ourselves and recommit ourselves, and take solace in the knowledge that ultimately goodness will prevail. We will continue to rededicate ourselves to be a light onto the nations,” said Rabbi Friedman.