#ShowUpForShabbat rallies people locally and nationally

Last year, on October 27, 11 Jews at prayer were killed in a mass shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue in the deadliest attack ever on the Jewish community in the United States.


The following weekend, millions of people of all faiths rallied around American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) #ShowUpForShabbat initiative, packing synagogues in what was an expression of solidarity with the American Jewish community.


Just six months later, on April 27, the Chabad House in Poway, Calif., was attacked during a Shabbat service, leaving one Jewish congregant dead.


Over the weekend, around the country and in Greater Cincinnati, people of good faith again answered the call to #ShowUpForShabbat, to mark the solemn one-year anniversary of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.


The commemoration was organized by the American Jewish Committee, which also called on people to dedicate Sunday, Oct. 27 as a day of action against anti-Semitism.


“We don’t want to forget,” says Cathy Heldman, regional director of American Jewish Committee Cincinnati. “I wish it was something happier that we were celebrating, but we appreciate all the support we’ve gotten from communities from around the country.”


Shabbat, or Sabbath, is Judaism’s day of rest, observed from just before sunset on Friday evening to nightfall on Saturday.


In Ohio, more than 60 mayors and municipal leaders, including Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, joined AJC Cincinnati and AJC Cleveland to honor the memory of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting victims.


Bob and Judy Danenberg, members of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, participated in a program with musical guest Barry Green at Congregation Beth Adam in Loveland.


“What they were most impressed by was the outpouring of support that they had from around the world,” Heldman says.


The AJC Cincinnati initiative was part of a global effort by the American Jewish Committee to fill synagogues in a demonstration of solidarity and unity against antisemitism and hate and to dedicate Sunday, October 27 as a Day of Action Against Antisemitism.

Read more articles by David Holthaus.

David Holthaus is an award-winning journalist, Cincinnati native and father of three. When not writing or editing, he's likely to be bicycling, hiking, reading or watching classic movies.
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