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Pittsburgh Jewish Federation honoring California synagogue victims | TribLIVE.com
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Pittsburgh Jewish Federation honoring California synagogue victims

Megan Tomasic
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AP Photo | Gene J. Puskar
A group gathers outside the Tree of Life Synagogue for a vigil to honor the victims of the Saturday attack on synagogue in California Saturday April 27, 2019 in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. It is six months to the day that a gunman shot and killed 11 people while they worshipped at the Tree of Life Synagogue on Oct. 27, 2018.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh is hosting a gathering tonight to remember the victims of the Chabad of Poway synagogue in California.

One person died and three were injured Saturday after a 19-year-old gunman identified as John T. Earnest entered the synagogue around 11:20 a.m and opened fire on the congregation. The shooting happened six months after a gunman killed 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

The Jewish Federation is hosting the event to pay tribute to the San Diego County, Calif., victims. Held in the Jewish Community Center of Squirrel Hill’s Katz Theater, opening remarks will begin at 6 p.m. Two family members impacted by the Oct. 27 Pittsburgh shooting will light candles for the victims. Several area Rabbis will speak at the event, leading the congregation in prayers for the dead, the wounded and for peace.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto is scheduled to speak.

Information about available resources will be distributed. Adam Hertzman, marketing director for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, said people of the area’s Jewish community could have been retraumatized by the Chabad of Poway incident.

Early Monday, New Light Congregation of Squirrel Hill, one of the three congregations present at Tree of Life the day of the shooting, issued a statement.

“We are deeply saddened by yet another senseless attack, this one on the Congregation Chabad in Poway, Calif.,” the statement reads. “We grieve with the families of those victimized and for their entire congregation. We must, as a people and a nation, continue to press for meaningful reform when it comes to protecting religious freedom and the safety of all who exercise it.”

Officials from the federation recommend leaving extra time to sign in with only two entrances open at this time: the Darlingon Road or gym entrance. The Forbes Avenue entrance is closed.

More information on the 45-minute program can be found by calling the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh at 412-681-8000 or emailing [email protected]

Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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