BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Baltimore Jewish Council will hold a memorial service for the victims of the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
For people here in Baltimore, the first reaction to news of the shooting was shock and disbelief.
There is a public service at 9:30 a.m. at the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, and at 3 p.m., the Council on American-Islamic Relations is holding a rally against hate at the Baltimore Holocaust Memorial.
“Just the idea of a synagogue during Shabbat morning services being attacked like this and then you heard about the anti-Semitic words being shouted,” said Howard Libit, with the Baltimore Jewish Council.
Libit says there has been an uptick of hatred across the country.
“Unfortunately, in our community, we have seen an uptick of anti-Semitic graffiti, anti-Semitic incidents, and quite frankly, hate incidents against other communities, against the Muslim community, against African Americans, and so we have to recognize there is this rising hate in our community,” he added/
But this, Libit said, is beyond the pale.
What to do about it? Former police spokesman, now crisis communications consultant, T.J. Smith says law enforcement can’t do it alone.
“There’s always that, whether it’s a family member, friend or neighbor says, ‘Something just wasn’t right.’ Well, that something that’s just not right that you know, call in, let the FBI, the ATF, and your local police departments investigate it a little further,” Smith said.
Libit says the Jewish community will stand up to hate.
“We’re going to stand up to hate and we’re going to continue to join together as a community to pray, to celebrate Shabbat each week, to show our faith and be proud of our faith,” Libit added.
And have faith that others are standing with them.