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Candlelight Vigil Planned for Tuesday

Oct 29, 2018 09:46PM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Photo credit: Amy Howorth

Local community and religious leaders have organized a public candlelight vigil on Tuesday, October 30 to honor the victims of the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue. The vigil will take place at the Manhattan Beach Pier from 6:00 to 6:30 p.m.

Organizers say that the vigil will serve as a memorial to the victims as well as a show of solidarity with the Pittsburgh Jewish Community and Jewish communities across the nation. All backgrounds, faiths, and ages are welcome.

Local leaders mobilized quickly to organize the event, according to Rabbi Yossi Mintz, executive director of the Jewish Community Center.

Mintz said that in the last two days he has received calls from people of all faiths - Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, and more - who wanted to do something. "The request came from many people in the community who are distraught and sorrowful. They wanted to get together as a community to share comfort with each other and show support - and send a message with Pittsburgh that we stand with them," he said.

Mintz added that this week is also symbolic in that it marks 80 years since Kristallnacht - representing the beginning of the Holocaust - where many were afraid to stand up to let their voices be heard. "Today we must call out hatred, regardless of the background, ethnicity, or religion of the person or people," he said.

When looking for a place to hold the vigil, Mintz said, he reached out to Manhattan Beach Councilmember Amy Howorth to find out if this was an effort that she could lead. Her response was "not just yes, but 'yes, and I'm going to get it done,'" he said.

The service is expected to include prayers, music, and words of encouragement but it is not intended to be political.

"We must stand together," added Mintz. "Our message is that we will not tolerate this, regardless of who was targeted. This was an attack on all of us."

Candles will be provided, but attendees are encouraged to bring their own candles or battery-operated lights if they have them. Participants are encouraged to share using the hashtag #standwithPittsburgh.

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