After mass shooting at a Pennsylvania synagogue killed 11 people Saturday, local leaders sent sympathy to the victims and spoke of safety for those in the area.

Leslie Winner, vice president of the Beth El Synagogue in Durham, said her congregation stood with the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh, where the attack occurred.

“Our congregation, first of all, stands in mourning with this sister congregation and with all of the families of the victims of this horrible murder,” she said.

“I think the Jewish community is feeling very vulnerable now,” Winner continued. “I did not expect to see this kind of anti-Semitic attack in the Unites States, and that feels very frightening.”

Raleigh police officers came to Beth Meyer Synagogue for Sabbath services Saturday morning. Members of the synagogue said it was unusual to see officers there, and the department said the officers were off-duty.

Raleigh police also drove by the Jewish Community Center on Saturday night.

Gov. Roy Cooper released a statement, saying that the “freedom to live and worship without fear is an essential right in America, and the horrific shooting in Pittsburgh strikes at the very heart of our country’s greatness.

“Our hearts break for the victims and families who were gathered on Shabbat and for the officers who fell victim to this savage attack,” he continued. “We must fight anti-Semitism and intolerance and stop the hatred that leads to violence.”

The Jewish Federation of Raleigh-Cary also released a statement. It said that its Secure Community Network Alert System monitors security situations and links to Jewish community organizations.

“It sends accurate security information to the leaders of those organizations and helps ensure that the right people are informed immediately,” the statement said. “We will update you as this grave situation unfolds.”

Carolina Jews for Justice will hold a service mourning their Jewish siblings at the CCB Plaza in Durham 1 p.m. Sunday.

Beth Meyer Synagogue will host a vigil 7 p.m. Sunday in conjunction with Temple Beth Or, Beth Shalom Synagogue, Congregation Sh’arei Israel, Chabad of Cary and Yavneh.

Source: The Associated Press

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