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UCSC holds vigil for Pittsburgh shooting victims

Vigils are being held around the Country for the Pittsburgh shooting victims, including here on the Central Coast.

Today dozens at University California Santa Cruz gathered to mourn the lives lost in the shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Organizer and executive director of Santa Cruz Hillel, Sarah Cohen Domont says, “hate cannot drive out hate, only love can drive out hate.”

Domont says that’s what was seen at Monday’s vigil. People from all faiths, standing shoulder to shoulder.

Bobby Alderman, a student a UCSC says “No matter what your culture, race, religion, ethnicity anything like that, there’s people that care about you. so we need to realize that what we all have in common is that we’re human.”

While those at the vigil say they remain hopeful that things can change, they don’t know if it’s something they will see in their lifetime.

A first year and Hillel member, Gwyneth Hernandez, says her first reaction was fear when she heard about the shooting, but it won’t stop her from being proud of her Jewish faith.

“It’s just really saddening that there, it’s 2018 and people are still be killed for their views and just being who they are. I mean, at some point you have to be careful and be aware of your surroundings but i’m still going to participate in Hillel and in this Jewish community,” says Hernandez.

On Monday people on campus signed a poster board with messages of love and support for those killed. That poster along with a donation will be sent to the Tree Of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Domont says while that synagogue is across the country, those miles don’t matter, “we have a saying in Judaism that all Jews are responsible for each other, so if someone is next door, across the country, across the world, the same expression of love, sorrow and support will always be the same.”

Director of the Center of Jewish Studies at UCSC, Nathaniel Deutsch, echoed that.

He says we need to be connected now more than ever, “we all live in one country here.”

He also says, “It’s no longer one person in Pittsburgh, one person in Santa Cruz completely disconnected not knowing. We all know instantaneously and we’re all connected and have to work together to make our society better.”

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