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Bay Area Vigils Held To Remember Pittsburgh Synagogue Victims

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Several more vigils were held across the Bay Area Sunday afternoon and evening to mourn Saturday's shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh that killed 11 and injured six.

It was packed inside Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco for an interfaith gathering Sunday afternoon.

It was a chance for the community to grieve together and support each other.

The sound of music filled the hearts and nourished the soul of those devastated by the shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue. Rabbis, priests and reverends from a number of religions started the healing process for those who gathered at the temple Sunday.

"When you have loss of any sort, especially horrible loss like this, our tradition teaches us to reach out for comfort," said Rabbi Jonathan Singer.

Mayor London Breed was also on hand to offer her words of support, but it was Mindy Finkelstein that had the congregation in tears.

Finkelstein was shot twice in the 1999 shooting at the Los Angeles Jewish Community Center. Since then, she's been lending a voice to the victims of these tragedies.

"I speak for those whose voices were silenced," said Finkelstein. "I survived on the day that I was shot, and so many -- like the 11 who were killed yesterday -- don't have the opportunity to speak out. So  I will be here forever representing them."

Extra security was on hand at synagogues in San Francisco Sunday as SFPD increased its presence in light of the Pittsburg shooting.

Community leaders hope mourning turns to action to make places of worship and the entire country safe again.

"I feel a sense of even more urgent mobilization about what we have to do to move this country from insane back to humane," said Rabbi Sydney Mintz.

The Jewish Student Association of Stanford University and Hillel at Stanford hosted a community memorial vigil at the university's White Memorial Plaza Sunday afternoon.

Hundreds of people gathered to mourn the shooting.

"Today I am in mourning. Today I am in pain. Today I am lost and confused and in need of an ally," said Courtney Cooperman with the Jewish Student Association. "And I am beyond grateful to see so many of you here, being for me and for Stanford's Jewish community and for those murdered in Pittsburgh."

"I ask you to see us, to see our fear to see our pain, to see our trauma. To see the anti-Semitism, to see the hatred, to see the violence and wish upon us comfort," said Rabbi Evelyn Baz of the Hillel at Stanford.

In Tiburon, another service was held at Congregation Kol Shofar. The standing room-only multi-faith crowd expressed its horror over the massacre.

"When there is hatred and violence toward immigrants, it touches all of us because ... that's what America is. A country of immigrants," said Vivien Braly, who was among the mourners.

Rubin Arquilevich call the massacre a "real sadness for all of us."

It certainly comes from a place of lack of awareness, lack of education, lack of understanding," he said. "And just devastation ... real sadness for all of us.


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