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Kent State Gathering Honors Pittburgh Synagogue Victims

Kent State vigil for shooting victims in western PA
A crowd gathers Monday evening for a vigil outside the Kent State Student Center to remember the 11 people killed at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

About 300 people gathered at Kent State for a vigil in memory of the victims shot to death at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, outside Pittsburgh.  

Madison Chaitoff
Kent State student Madison Chaitoff

There was song, along with prayers and words of remembrance.  

The voice of Kent State Student Madison Chaitoff was among the many voices in the crowd singing. I’ve grown up Jewish all my life, and I used to go to sleep-away camp and it was based out of Pittsburgh Jewish Community Center and it’s based out of Squirrel Hill, so I have a lot of friends from Squirrel Hill.”  

Holing the flag, Anthony Collins-Sibley
Anthony Collins-Sibley holds the flag at the vigil

Next to her, Anthony Collins-Sibley held a large American flag on a ten foot standard.   “This flag belongs to every American of every size, color, orientation, origin, legality, and we have to take it back.”

Throughout the vigil there was a a tone of comfort, in the reaching out and of defiance, in standing firm for tolerance and community.

President of Kent State University, Beverly Warren
photo of KSU President Beverly Warren
Credit Nathaniel Bailey / Kent State University
Beverly Warren, PhD, President of Kent State University

Kent State University President Beverly Warren was among the vigil participants. She says she joined the gathering on campus to be part of a coming together of ecumenical support. “I’m here as a part of this community so that I hope our Jewish community feel that love and our support that we are together, and we believe in our right to be together and support one another.”

The vigil was led by Rabbi Michael Ross of Hillel of Kent State and Temple Beth Shalom in Hudson. The shooting rampage occurred at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, a Pittsburgh suburb.

Editor's Note: The name of the temple has been corrected in this story.