Students, community gather for vigil remembering synagogue shooting victims

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – On October 27, a gunman walked into a Pittsburgh synagogue and killed nearly a dozen members.

He targeted them because they were Jews. Monday evening those in the Jewish community and more came together at UNCW to remember the victims.

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“We, each and every one of us. Jewish or not, must keep their memory alive,” said Temple of Israel Rabbi Emily Losben-Ostrov before a crowd that had gathered at the UNCW amphitheater.

“It’s very important that people, regardless of what their backgrounds are, their race, their ethnicity or their religion that they come together to ensure that things like this don’t happen in the future,” said UNCW Jewish history professor Jarrod Tanny who also advises the organization that held the candlelight vigil.

The Univeristy’s Jewish student organization, UNCW Hillel, remembered the eleven members killed by a gunman in the Tree of Life Synagogue. Even here in Wilmington the killing hits close to home. Ryan Muskal grew up in the Tree of Life Synagogue. He is proud to see this sign of support.



“Especially the Jewish community of any community is resilient and comes together,” said Muskal who in fact had his bar mitzvah in the synagogue.

UNCW students and the community gather for the candlelight vigil (Andrew James/WWAY News)

“I am bound to see that the hope will be greater than the hate,” said Rabbi Losben-Ostrov reading aloud to those who gathered in the dark amphitheater.

Each victim’s name shared and most importantly remembered.

“I’ll keep saying those eleven names and talking about those eleven people because I think that’s most important is remembering them,” said Muskal.

Beyond their memory, a message to unite as they did on campus. Different people with different cultures, religions, and backgrounds gathered and firmly united against witnessing more killings like what happened in Pittsburgh.

“In the places where no one acts like a human being, let us bring courage, let us bring compassion, and let us bring humanity,” said one student reading a poem in front of the crowd.