One year after the shooting in Pittsburgh, the JCRC/AJC asks you to demonstrate the strength of the Jewish community by showing up for Shabbat.

By Rabbi Asher Lopatin

The weekend after the worst act of anti-Semitism in American history, the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Jewish communities all over America decided that the most powerful symbol of vibrancy, solidarity and hope would be for everyone — Jewish or not — to #ShowUpForShabbat and be present at a local synagogue or temple.

Launched by AJC (American Jewish Committee), it was an incredible demonstration for the world and American Jewry to see hundreds, and even thousands, of people of different faiths filling our traditional gathering places — the Beit HaKnesset — on the traditional day of Jewish unity, Shabbat. Locally, many congregations participated in the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit’s Shabbat Solidarity event.

While in the incredibly sad days following the shooting there were many meaningful vigils and gatherings, there was truly something special about #ShowUpForShabbat. It made people feel good about being Jewish or being with Jews in a Jewish space.

We came together as one, proud people to say we were not going to let those who hate us stop us from going to our gathering places, and we were not going to be afraid to come together to be the kind of people, and the kind of Jews, we had every right to be.

This year, one year after that tragic Shabbat on Oct. 27, 2018, Jewish Community Relations Council/ AJC (JCRC/AJC) asks you to once again join us and show our strength, resiliency and resolution and #ShowUpForShabbat on Oct. 25 and 26, the Shabbat that precedes that horrific date that we all sadly remember so well.

We ask you to find a way of celebrating the precious lives that were lost by showing everything they stood for — community, togetherness, connectedness and a passion for who we are — is alive and blossoming in our community.

Last year at #ShowUpForShabbat, we felt a sense of humanity rediscovering itself, brotherhood and sisterhood and pride that we were Jews living in America surrounded by so many who cared for us and our ability to practice our faith. This year, let us return to our local congregations and make it clear we have the wherewithal to keep going in the footsteps of tragedy.

Our people know the response to those who tell us “Go!” is “We are here to stay! Shabbat is here to stay! And our beloved places of gathering, even if we don’t see them as often as we might like, are here to stay as well.”

On Oct. 25-26, we will see you in shul.

Rabbi Asher Lopatin is executive director of the JCRC/AJC. For more information and to find a local congregation participating, visit
ajc.org/showupforshabbat.

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