Pacific University students, faculty, and staff members held a vigil last week to stand against anti-Semitism and violence against people of faith.
This vigil was in response to the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, Pa. that killed 11 of the synagogue’s congregants on Oct. 27.
The Tree of Life synagogue shooting has made some Pacific students concerned about the growing anti-Semitism and gun violence in the United States.
“It’s really upsetting on multiple levels. With the anti-Semitism and gun issues, it’s like two issues in one,” Senior Ilana Freeman said. “As a Jewish person it is hard to watch all these issues continue.”
Students have also been concerned that the synagogue shooting has served as yet another normalized incident of violence for the country.
Pacific University Sophomore, Fatima Nur, said it was hard for her to react to this shooting since this was a not just a random act of violence, but a direct attack on a minority faith community.
“As a Muslim, seeing fellow people of faith being targeted in their own house of worship, I don’t know how anybody reacts to that,” Nur said.
The Tree of Life synagogue shooting is considered to be the deadliest attack on Jewish individuals in American history since 1958. Students hope that the events of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting can convince politicians that anti-Semitism is still a relevant and dangerous issue.
“Now that a shooting happened I hope that Americans as a whole are aware that anti-Semitism has been here and has never truly went away,” Freeman said. “Now because of the people in charge, people feel emboldened to do things like shoot people in a synagogue.”