Interfaith gathering to honor Synagogue shooting victims draws hundreds to North Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- An interfaith gathering, honoring the victims of Saturday's Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting, drew hundreds to North Fresno Tuesday night.

Prayer could be heard in both English and Hebrew as those in attendance remembered the Tree of Life Synagogue congregation. The show of solidarity at Temple Beth Israel came from all faiths as community members called for peace and understanding.

Organizer Rabi Rick Winer says, "This is a great opportunity for us to put a spotlight on love. The variety of people that come together in love."

He made it a point to NOT call the gathering a vigil, saying they will not wallow in despair, drawing on the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior for insight, "we drive out the darkness with the light we dispel hate with love."

Pastor DJ Criner, a friend of Rabbi Rick says, "It's really in the power of lifting each other up. That is when you get the strength to keep moving and keep going on."

It's understanding that brought Louise Feinberg to temple. She says, "I felt like I needed to be with other people to make a connection."

She says she doesn't have a religious background but was overwhelmed with emotion as she signed a handmade prayer card that will be sent to the Tree of Life Synagogue.

Feinberg says, "it's very tangible I'm putting my handwriting on something that someone who is suffering or hurting is going to read."

Religious leaders across all faiths prayed, some in compassion others in empathy.

Fresno Police made it a point to show their support not only by attending tonight's event but patrolling so everyone could gather in peace feeling safe.
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