Bulgarian Jewish community to hold mourning for Pittsburgh attack victims at Sofia Synagogue

The Bulgarian Jewish community is to hold a service of mourning for the victims of the Pittsburgh Tree of Life shooting and prayers for those injured in the attack.

The service is to be held at Sofia Central Synagogue on the morning of November 3, to pray in memory of the victims and to support the Jewish community in Pittsburgh, the Central Israelite Religious Council and the Organisation of the Jews in Bulgaria “Shalom” said.

Bulgaria’s Jewish community is joining in the international initiative #ShowUpForShabbat, started by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and which has drawn widespread support around the world.

On October 28, AJC called on Jewish communities across the US—along with elected officials, religious and civic leaders, and other communal allies—to flock to synagogues this coming Shabbat (Friday night and Saturday, November 2-3) in a nationwide campaign named #ShowUpForShabbat. The AJC initiative was launched in response to the horrific attack at Tree of Life Or L’Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh, which left 11 Jewish worshippers dead.

“This weekend, I will #ShowUpForShabbat. I encourage all members of the Jewish community and all people of conscience across our country to join me,” AJC CEO David Harris said. “What could be a more fitting response to the terror in Pittsburgh? We are not afraid. We are not going to think twice about affirming our identity and faith. We are not alone.”

Since the call was made, it has been taken up by communities around the globe.

On October 29, in a letter to Jeffrey Finkelstein, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, the leadership of the Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria “Shalom” expressed shock at the horrific act of hate and terror committed at the Tree of Life synagogue, and expressed condolences.

“We must not stay silent in the face of horror and evil but actively stand together to show the world that this senseless act of hate will not divide us or intimidate us,” the letter said.

The accused in what has been called the worst antisemitic crime of violence in US history has pleaded not guilty to 44 counts of murder, hate crimes, obstructing religious practices and other crimes. The accused, reported to have shouted “All Jews must die” during the attack and to have repeated similar messages after being arrested, pleaded not guilty. US federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)



The Sofia Globe staff

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