Hundreds Attend Service For Pittsburgh Synagogue Victims

Ormond Beach, FL - It was a crowd size the likes of which Temple Beth El doesn't normally see outside of the major Jewish holidays. Around 500 people packed the main sanctuary on North Nova road tonight (November 1st) for a special "Solidarity Service" to remember the 11 who died and the six who were wounded in last weekend's shooting rampage at the Tree Of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
Local religious leaders from around the Daytona Beach area came to sing, offer words of comfort and support, including many who were not Jewish. Among those was Imam Belal Shemman, head of the Islamic Center of Daytona Beach.
The interfaith service mostly stayed away from any particular religion, though much of the inspiration for the various speeches during the hour-long service focused on the Old Testament portion of the Bible. A few Jewish songs did make its way into the mix, including the Israeli national anthem, which was then followed by God Bless America. First responders in attendance were invited up to the bimah for both songs, including Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood.
Temple Beth El Rabbi Courtney Berman called the service a "meaningful" one. "Coming together this evening is about prayer, but it's about more than just prayer," Berman told the crowd near the end. "It's about building community, about building a strong community where there's a lot of love."


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