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Houston Mourns 11 Killed At Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue

The massacre follows a 60 percent spike in anti-Semitic incidents across the U.S. last year.

Jewish leaders and other faith-based community officials called for unity during the vigil.

Synagogues across Greater Houston will be holding Solidarity Shabbat services Friday night and Saturday to remember the 11 people shot and killed at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue. The services follow a region-wide vigil Sunday night at Houston’s Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center.

Joel Dinkin, chief executive of the JCC, is a Pittsburgh native who grew up attending the Tree of Life Synagogue. He told Houston Matters he was heartened by the strong show of support from local leaders and people of all faiths.

“What I’m hearing from people is just a frustration over when will this frustration and violence come to an end,” Dinkin said. “How will it come to an end? And what can we do as individuals, as the Jewish community, as the city of Houston to begin to make a difference so that these things don’t continue to happen?”

The Anti-Defamation League’s Southwest Regional Office tracks anti-Semitic incidents across the southern half of Texas. Dena Marks, senior associate director of the office, says the number of anti-Semitic incidents in that region doubled last year compared to 2016. For the U.S. as a whole, anti-Semitic incidents rose nearly 60 percent over the same period.

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Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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