EVERETT — The local Jewish community was joined Thursday night by a diverse crowd that included members of different faith groups and other neighbors in a show of strength, unity and remembrance.
More than 200 people filled a public meeting room on the Snohomish County campus, where they paid homage to 11 victims killed and others wounded by a gunman’s attack at a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday.
Speakers included Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers, Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin, U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen and Rabbi Rachel Kort of Everett’s Temple Beth Or.
“Our hearts are filled with grief,” Kort said.
At the same time, she continued, she was filled with hope by the gathering of people and their outpouring of kindness.
Rabbi Berel Paltiel, of the Chabad Jewish Center of Snohomish County, said the only way to counter random acts of violence was by committing “senseless acts of love.”
He challenged people to help others for “no reason at all” and to greet their neighbors. “Darkness can’t exist where there is light,” he said.
In the front of the room, a candle was lit for each victim: Joyce Fienberg, 75; Richard Gottfried, 65; Rose Mallinger, 97; Jerry Rabinowitz, 66; Cecil Rosenthal, 59; David Rosenthal, 54; Bernice Simon, 84; Sylvan Simon, 86; Daniel Stein, 71; Melvin Wax, 88; and Irving Younger, 69.
Everyone then filed outside, where they hovered over candles, trying to keep them lit in the harsh wind.
Kort led the audience in singing a Hebrew prayer. The lyrics, translated, were: “Spread over us a shelter of your peace.”