Jewish Communities in SWFL mourn the Pittsburgh shooting victims

Reporter: Morgan Rynor Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:

The Jewish community in Southwest Florida is processing what happened in Pittsburgh on Saturday morning. They hope to send a message of unity. More security will be provided to places of worship in the state.

On Sunday, Gov. Rick Scott announced Florida Highway Patrol will be increasing patrols at religious institutions statewide.

Additional security will be in place Monday evening when the community comes together to honor the victims of the synagogue shooting.

The Jewish community in SWFL is coming together in support of those who were killed.

Rabbi Marc Sack said he and his congregation at Temple Judea in Fort Myers found out about the attacks in their sanctuary. With a marquee, the temple is sending a message to stand together. Sack said, the attacks may be miles away but hurt deeply, here, for those of all faiths.

“What happened over there in Pittsburgh touches us and touches our lives as well,” Sack said. “We refuse to give in to those acts of hatred. You respond to these acts of violence by insisting that life must go on, and that we’re all going to do it together.”

Rabbi Nicole Luna of Temple Beth El in Fort Myers first received the news of the shooting on her phone.

I saw on my phone I had missed multiple phone calls and text messages and people checking in to see how we were,” Luna said. And, that’s when I realized a tragedy had occurred.”

Communities and temples all over SWFL are holding vigils tomorrow evening from Sarasota to Naples, where Mayor Bill Barnett said he would be attending.

The names of the eleven people murdered at the attack at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh were released Sunday.

A vigil will be held at Temple Beth El in Fort Myers, tomorrow at 6 p.m. The temple is asking those of all faiths to join in mourning those who died at the temple in Pittsburgh.

“And the best way to honor the memories of those who died is to continue living our lives fully, Jewishly, proudly and working to improve and better our world,” Luna said. 

WINK News reached out to Fort Myers Police Department and Lee County Sheriff’s Office for more information.

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