ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - People from all different backgrounds and faiths stood side-by-side filling the Mount Zion Temple in St. Paul, Minn. Monday evening with love, not hate.
In solidarity with their Jewish brothers and sisters, thousands of people arrived for the standing-room only vigil.
Nausheena Hussain says it was important for her to be at the healing ceremony to show her support for this community. She says she believes the amped up rhetoric and divisiveness is killing people.
“I feel like the tragedy that happened in Pittsburgh was an attack on all of us—I don’t feel like it’s just the Jewish community that we are standing in solidarity with—I feel like all communities are under attack,” said Hussain.
Even with increased security and emotions running within synagogues across the nation, the President of Mount Zion Temple Susan Robiner says the crowds of thousands waiting to walk into this service showed people are facing their fears and embracing their faiths.
“Immediately—people’s reaction was not to walk away from their temples, but to walk towards their temples and to walk towards their communities and so what else can you do?” said Robiner.
For Beth Gendler, this tragedy strikes a very personal chord. She's now the executive director of the National Council of Jewish Women. She says the gunman's hate towards HIAS, the Jewish immigrant aid group, had a hand in bringing her father to America as a young Holocaust survivor.
“He was finally able to come here in 1946 because of the work of HIAS, so I have a very deep personal connection to that organization,” said Gendler.
She says without its existence she wouldn't be here today.
"I think it's an organization that truly showcases the best of what makes America great," said Gendler.
There is stepped up security at Mount Zion as well as other temples in the area. It's unclear how long the increased police presence will last.