WASHINGTON -- The Jewish community in D.C. continues to mourn those killed in Pittsburgh. Multiple congregations have held special prayer services in honor of the victims of Saturday’s mass shooting in Pittsburgh.
While the community continues to grieve, local synagogues are also focusing on security and keeping their congregations safe.
Rabbi Aaron Alexander is a senior rabbi at Adas Israel in Northwest D.C. He says he is asking many things of the congregation in the aftermath of the shooting. One request is for people to stay present at the synagogue.
“While it may feel intuitive for some people to stay away, this is the place from which we draw from the well of compassion and inclusion and resilience,” Alexander explained.
He reminds others that now is the time to turn their love outward in support of the Jewish community and all minority communities.
“It is precisely in the space of pain sometimes, and this is a Jewish value going back a couple thousand years, that we rebuild,” said Alexander.
Like other synagogues in D.C., a police cruiser has sat outside Adas Israel since Saturday. Alexander says that is one of multiple security precautions they have taken since news spread of the massacre. He says the synagogue already has a comprehensive security system in place.
“While we are thinking about how to handle this spiritually, we are also continuing to monitor our already robust security infrastructure, which we’ve had in place for a long time,” Alexander said.
Alexander says he has heard from many faith and community leaders since Saturday who have offered personal messages of sympathy and solidarity with the Jewish community in DC.
An inter-faith service will be held Monday evening at 6:30 at Adas Israel.
The service, which is sponsored by Adas Israel, the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, will be open to all. Alexander says security will be tight and you’re encouraged to arrive before 6:30 p.m. Adas Israel is located 2850 Quebec Street Northwest.