A Bexley vigil in honor of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting victims was held Monday night. The event put on by Jewish Voice for Peace took place outside of the Bexley Public Library.
Bexley is one of central Ohio’s most prominent Jewish communities. It’s home to three synagogues and is a melting pot of other religions too. The community that has long supported people of the Jewish faith said they wanted to come together to stand up against hate.
One of the people who planned to attend was Pastor Brad Binau, a professor at Trinity Lutheran Seminary at Capital University.
He spoke to NBC4 about the Seminary’s Holocaust remembrance sculpture by the famed Alfred Tibor that has stood out front of the Seminary for nearly 20 years.
“We’ve become best known as this is the place with the Holocaust sculpture,” he said. “What we’ve been through recently just makes this so much more important.”
Pastor Binau said the work of art is one of the Seminary’s greatest teaching tools.
“As a reminder of how easy it is to be complicit with anti-Semitism, with racism, in hate speech. All of us need this as a daily reminder that we have to be on guard at all times.”
Rabbi Mitchell Levine of Congregation Agudas Achim in Bexley said to have the artwork at the Seminary is a symbolic act of solidarity.
“To confront the hatred that we face today, that’s a task that’s incumbent upon all of us. Not any particular religious denomination, or church, or synagogue, but all of us must come together and preserve that message and act on its implications,” he said.
Rabbi Levine said the Jewish community is hurting, but they won’t be defined as victims.
“We have power and we have power when we come together and we speak with one voice and we say no to the hatred.”
It’s the same message Tibor was hoping to convey through his life-size bronzed figures so many years ago.