Members of all faiths gather at Columbus synagogue to remember Tree of Life victims

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Columbus community is coming together to honor the lives lost one year ago at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

They gathered for a concert at Congregation Tifereth Israel.

Many people in the community have connections to the congregation at Tree of Life. This event was their way of showing their community, their voices, their songs are stronger than the hate and violence that happened one year ago Sunday.

“Everyone in Columbus has friends and relatives in Pittsburgh,” said Jack Chomsky, cantor for Congregation Tifereth Israel. “It could have happened here. It happened there”

It was standing room only for the concert, with people from many different faiths in attendance.

Those faiths were represented in the concert, too, sharing traditional songs or prayers important to them.

The event was all about coming together, and that’s exactly what they did.

At the end of the concert, all of the groups from different faiths performed as one.

This was their way of honoring the lives taken too soon and standing with Pittsburgh.

“Today’s concert has extra meaning,” Chomsky said. “It’s wonderful to come celebrate together under any circumstances, but in this case, where we are raising our voices in harmony above the terrible noise of violence, is a very important thing.”

He is good friends with the rabbi of Tree of Life.

“It wasn’t until after Shabat that we found out that he and his family were OK,” Chomsky said.

Chomsky went to Pittsburgh after the shooting. Mark Rosenson joined him. He grew up just blocks away from Tree of Life.

“It’s very upsetting, it’s very emotional, it’s very difficult to go back and look at,” Rosenson said.

The congregation plans on having the whole concert available online.

Eleven people were killed and seven injured when a gunman opened fire inside the synagogue one year ago. The suspect is in prison north of Pittsburgh awaiting trial.

Prosecutors said he sought to terrorize the Jewish community and has shown no remorse for his actions. They are seeking the death penalty should he be found guilty.

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