Northeast Ohio calls for unity, end to hate after Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

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CLEVELAND -- From religious and political leaders to college students, people in Northeast Ohio are showing support for the victims of Saturday’s synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh. Several vigils were held Monday, calling for more unity and an end to hate.

"We stand here together, united in our shared humanity and united against any and all forms of hate," said Renee’ Chelm, vice chair of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland.

Hundreds of people, including politicians and religious leaders joined in solidarity with members of Northeast Ohio's Jewish community to denounce hate and promote peace. The Monday evening vigil at the Mandel Jewish Community Center in Beachwood was held to honor 11 people who were shot to death at The Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

"Be strong Pittsburgh, together we must be determined to ensure that love triumphs over hate, good over evil, unity over division...for after all, that is the America we know," said Loree Resnik of the American Jewish Committee.

"We are all here to represent us, to support each other, to know that as one Jewish community, we stand strong, we stand strong always," one local rabbi told the crowd.

The vigil included words of support from leaders of various religious denominations.

"We will stand in solidarity with you and we are willing to help however we can," said an Islamic faith leader, who attended the vigil.

"We must stand together and stand up against the hatred and the vicious violence of our time as a witness that it will not win," said retired United Methodist minister Kenneth Chalker.

"A temple bombing, a church bombing, is a bombing of your house and my house," said retired Baptist minister Rev. Otis Moss, Jr.

Also, Monday evening, several hundred people gathered on the campus of Case Western Reserve University with a similar message of strength and action.

"Anger is a very powerful emotion, but if it's used at the right way to do the right thing, it can bring tremendous results," said Rabbi Mendy Alevsky, Chabad at Case Western Reserve University.

Jewish community leaders say law enforcement has assured them there are no known threats to the Cleveland Jewish community. Still, they are increasing their efforts to keep Jewish landmarks and places of worship in Northeast Ohio secure.

Continuing coverage, here.

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