Local Jewish Community Feeling a Connection with Pittsburgh

SCRANTON, Pa. -- "Anguish for the suffering and anger at the perpetrator."

Monday morning means back to work and back to a new normal for people in the Jewish community. At the Jewish Community Center in Scranton, the tragic events that unfolded Saturday are really starting to sink in.

"His actions have offended the memory of hundreds of thousands of Americans who fought and died for the freedoms, such as freedom of religion, which they were practicing," said Mark Silverberg, the executive director of the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Members of the Jewish community here say they are now more than ever motivated to not let history repeat itself yet again.

"(Speaking in Hebrew) You and I shall change the world," said Scranton JCC executive director Dan Cardonick. "That's what our goal for the Jewish community is here in Scranton."

At the JCC in Scranton, the flags are being flown at half-staff, but that's not the only way they are showing support.

"Even though we're here, and they're a few hours away, it doesn't mean we can't stand with them and we plan on standing with them in solidarity. We plan on standing against hate, against intolerance, against anti-Semitism, and encouraging our community to come together and remember these victims," Cardonick said.

There will be a vigil at the Jewish Community Center on Jefferson Avenue Tuesday night, and members are also collecting money to send to Pittsburgh. They're also working with local law enforcement.

"We're constantly looking to advance our security and safety of our programs of our institution here. We're going to have to look further at how we're going to continue to create a safe and secure environment so the entire community can participate in the programs that our JCC offers," Cardonick added.

The vigil will be held at the Scranton Jewish Community Center on Jefferson Avenue Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. It's open to everyone, from every faith.

Those at the JCC say the support they've received from the Scranton community has left them speechless.


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