Long Island officials, clergy leaders hold unified prayer service for Pittsburgh victims

Kristin Thorne Image
Monday, October 29, 2018
Long Island officials, clergy leaders hold unified prayer service for Pittsburgh victims
Kristin Thorne reports on the prayer service held in Nassau County for the victims of the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting.

MINEOLA, Long Island (WABC) -- Dozens of local clergy leaders and elected officials gathered on the steps of the Nassau County executive building Monday to denounce Saturday's shooting at a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh.

"This is the time for all of us to reflect and to take collective action and to make sure that the ideology of hate and anti-Semitism must be challenged, strongly challenged, and rooted out," said Isma Chaudhry, with the Islamic Center of Long Island.

The hour-long event featured prayers by local Jewish leaders.

"Dear God, we now pray that you accept under your sheltering wings the souls of our 11 brothers and sisters whose only crime was that of reaching out to you and to each other in prayer," prayed Rabbi Jay Rosenbaum, of Temple Israel in Lawrence.

Rabbi Art Vernon with Congregation Shaaray Shalom in West Hempstead said that Jewish people are not bitter.

"We are hopeful because of gatherings such as this which are happening throughout our county over the next several days and throughout the United States and even throughout the world," he said.

Many prayers are going to Rabbi Hazzan Jeffrey Myers of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Myers was a rabbi on Long Island until recently working at Congregation Beth-El in Massapequa, which is now combined with Congregation Beth Ohr in Bellmore.

Glenn Ring, a volunteer with Beth Ohr, has known Myers for years. He said he texted Myers in the hours following Saturday's attack to let him know that people are praying for him and his congregation.

"He's just such a sweet, decent, honest man, you know, maybe God put him there in Pittsburg, you know, for this time," Ring said.

Ring said Congregation Beth Ohr is upgrading all of its security systems in light of Saturday's incident.


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