Captal Region reaction to synagogue shooting in California

April 29, 2019 10:40 AM

Members of interfaith communities from around the Capital Region came together on Sunday to hold prayer services for those affected by the deadly attack at a synagogue in California on Saturday.

"We all have to take responsibility to promote non-violence and peaceful co-existence," said Rabbi Scott Shpeen of Congregation Beth Emeth.


Rabbi Matthew Cutler, organizer for Schenectady Clergy Against Hate, says more than anything it was important to come together quickly to show support.

"We will stand up and protect each other. When you hurt one, you hurt all and that's what the interfaith community does," said Cutler.

Included in some of the programs were a moment of silence or special prayers of mourning.

"When people gather to pray, they're in a sanctuary, a sacred and safe place, to connect with God. And to have that solemn place violated by gun violence and racial hatred is nothing short of disgusting and awful," said Cutler.

Faith leaders were not the only ones responding publicly to this tragedy. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called on state police to increase security at places of worship around the state. In addition, both the Albany Police Department and the Niskayuna town supervisor say they too have increased patrols and police presence.

Sen. Charles Schumer also reacted to the tragedy.

"We must, we must be thinking of more ways to stop the spread of this hate and protect all houses of worship," said Schumer.

Many elected officials, religious leaders, and community members say they plan to keep the conversation going by hosting vigils and gatherings in the days to come.

"It's very important that we start talking now with a real sense of urgency about gun violence and anti-semitism," said Cutler.


Brooke Selby

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