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Through tears and prayers, UCSB students, faculty, and community members remember the 11 lives lost at Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday, Oct. 27.
With the help of over 400 attendees and more than 40 organization co-sponsors, Santa Barbara Hillel, a Jewish nonprofit student life organization, held a service on Storke Lawn on Tuesday, Oct. 30, giving a space for discussion, grieving, and change.
In an interview with The Bottom Line, Rabbi Evan Goodman, executive director of Santa Barbara Hillel said, “We need to band together as a larger community. And Jews can’t fight anti-Semitism alone, you can’t stand up for yourself and call this out without support from other people.”
The support for this remembrance came not only from the speeches given, but also from those who attended.
Assemblymember Monique Limón, California State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, and Chancellor Henry Yang, along with other political and administrative figures, participated in moments of silence and prayer for the Jewish community.
During her speech, Senator Jackson said, “We must overcome the politics of fear and violence and division. We must do that by being the best of us.”
Hannah Green, student board president of Santa Barbara Hillel and a communications and linguistics double major, told The Bottom Line, “The showing of so many people who are from so many different communities really reinforces that we’re not alone.”
More than 100 Hillels from university campuses across the world are holding vigils to commemorate the victims of the Pittsburg shooting. However, amidst this solemn moment, President Donald Trump has commented saying the presence of armed guard could have prevented the shooting raises concern.
“We need to change the attitude of people in America before resulting to something like that,” Green said.
Rabbi Goodman also responded to comments by saying, “I never want to feel like we have to have an armed guard 24/7 to protect our people. I want our doors to be open.” Hillel’s doors were open this Friday for their weekly Shabbat services, which, in addition to students, was attended by parents, family, and administrators this week.
“I hurt so much for my community and seeing that we’ve been targeted by such a hateful act of violence,” said Associated Students President Brooke Kopel. “There’s no choice but for us to come together — stand together to overcome that hate.”