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Salinas Jewish congregation remembers lives lost in Pittsburgh

The lives lost in the Pittsburgh shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue Saturday were remembered on the Central Coast.

A special ceremony was held Monday at Temple Beth El, one of the oldest Jewish Communities in the Salinas Valley.

The congregation’s message isn’t one of sadness but love.

“We really hope to achieve that in this evening’s service by bringing our community together,” Cantor Margaret Bruner said, “Of all different faiths and gathering in hope and healing and in love.”

The opposite, though, is what many in the Jewish Community say they’ve seen far too often.

“Unfortunately not only our community but many Jewish communities are not strangers to anti-Semitism,” Bruner said.

Still, Central Coast congregations aren’t letting that break up their community.

“We gather together, and we are stronger together, and we will move forward together to strengthen our presence in the Monterey County,” Bruner says.

The congregation’s hope after this tragedy is to continue connecting and moving forward as a community, including with those outside the Jewish faith.

“It’s very important to come together as a whole,” Bruner said, “It doesn’t matter what faith you are, it doesn’t matter what race, religion, background socio-economic standing, this is what makes us strong. This is what makes us come together as a community and better serve each other and better support one another.”

Since the shooting, security for local synagogues has been a concern all over the world.

The cantor at Temple Beth El says they’ve always had a great relationship with Salinas Police.

The department reached out to the temple over the weekend to offer more security.

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