UBC Hillel House hosting vigil for Pittsburgh shooting victims

Matt Lawson / October 30, 2018

Candlelight vigil. (Pixabay.com)

The UBC Hillel House is hosting a candlelight vigil for the victims of the horrific anti-Semitic attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Jews of the Squirrel Hill neighborhood were gathered to celebrate Shabbot, when a man allegedly entered the place of worship and opened fired on the crowd. 11 people were confirmed dead in the attack that is now labeled the most deadly anti-Semitic attack on U.S. soil.

The Jewish community is standing together across the world in solidarity to show their support and the Hillel House is urging everyone in the community, Jewish or not, to come and pay tribute to those who lost their lives. Organizers of the event felt it was important to host the event at a Jewish building.

“The 11 people in Pittsburgh were murdered in a Jewish building. We are the quote, the Jewish building, on campus (Hillel House)… The other thing is, outside we have a memorial stone and on it, the name of Daniel Pearl. Daniel Pearl was a journalist – he was kidnapped by terrorists. He was murdered because he was a Jew.” – Philip Bregman, Rabbi and Chaplain of Hillel House

Bregman is no stranger to anti-Semitism – the Rabbi had his own synagogue firebombed and destroyed by Molotov cocktails back in 1985. He stresses the importance of strength in solidarity in everyone whether they are Jewish, Muslim, First Nations and beyond. One of the guest speakers at the event will be former Musqueam Chief, Gail Sparrow.

“I said Gail I want you to come and I don’t want to have any crazy statements as far as unceded territory. I said most people don’t even know how to spell the word, they don’t know what it means. I said why don’t you tell them we’re on the stolen land, we are occupying it, you know what it’s like to be slaughtered in North America.”

Other speakers will include Muslim and Christian representatives and also Rabbi Jonathan Infeld, who is originally from Pittsburgh.

The event takes place at 4-pm, October 30.