After Pittsburgh, Community Gathers At 1 pm Today

In the wake of yesterday’s tragic shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh, the entire Westport community is invited to a gathering this afternoon. It’s set for 1 p.m., at the Conservative Synagogue (30 Hillspoint Road).

First Selectman Jim Marpe, Police Chief Foti Koskinas and other town officials will attend. This morning, they meet with Jewish leaders of Westport at police headquarters.

The Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County says:

This past Shabbat, a day intended for peace and rest, for family and prayer, has been a tragically sad one.

Some of us heard the news as it happened, others as they left morning services, and others not until sundown, of the horrifying shoots at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh. The loss of lives due to a blatant and hateful act of anti-Semitism stands as the most fatal act against the Jewish community in American history.

At times of great sadness, we find strength in standing together — in solidarity with the Tree of Life Congregation and the Jewish community of Pittsburgh, and in comfort to each other.

Today, the Jewish Federation and congregations from throughout Fairfield County will come together at The Conservative Synagogue in Westport for a special community gathering at this very difficult time. While no words can erase the tragic loss of life and our sadness because of it, our Jewish tradition shows us the value in being together to share sorrow and to find hope.

In light of yesterday’s incident, we will of course work to ensure sufficient security for this event. We hope that you join us.


6 responses to “After Pittsburgh, Community Gathers At 1 pm Today

  1. Charles Taylor


  2. Charles Taylor

    Dear Dan

    I wrote this yesterday after the news from Pittsburgh. Both my daughter and Son in law went to CMU and we have extended family there. I hope in some very small way these words, this small prayer may bring some comfort, Some amount of healing Tommy Jewish brothers and sisters.

    When Words Fail Me

    So Often in this world today, I search for little words to say, to try to heal the hurt and pain, to find that I am mute again
    when sweet words fail me

    And when it comes to heal your loss, I watch you hang upon that cross, I have no words to heal your soul, but pray that God will make you whole, when sweet words fail me

    And When the words won’t come at all, I stumble, and as I fall, I pray into the silence that surrounds me

    God Help me find the words to say, the words to take the pain away, a gift of prose for those we lose, to walk that path in loved ones shoes, to reach out my two arms, when sweet words fail me

    Charlie Taylor 2018 Staples ‘61

  3. Arline Gertzoff

    Light a Memorial Candle 🕯 to remember those so tragically lost to hate

  4. Mary Cookman Schmerker SHS '58

    Thank you Mr. Taylor. Words fail me also. Your words above help. A community gathering will help. Your words above will begin to the healing process. You included a “bridge”. Did you set your words to music? I ask because your words will resonate with many. And when music is added to words it tends to stick in one’s mind. I pray that others will read your words above and that the words will swell and travel and heal as they go.

  5. Consider these words, from Dr. Cohen, who examined the perpetrator of the Pittsburgh massacre immediately afterwards at the hospital: “Bowers was not particularly bright, and felt that he had to rise up and defend “his people,” who were being slaughtered.
    Dr. Cohen said that Bowers “listens to the noise, he hears the noise … He’s completely confused, and THE WORDS MEAN THINGS. THE WORDS ARE LEADING PEOPLE TO DO THINGS LIKE THIS.”
    What is Dr. Cohen telling us? That the hateful rhetoric and talk of violence from this president have consequences, such as pipe bombs and the worst massacre of Jewish people in this nation’s history.
    We can all make a difference by standing up for candidates on Nov. 6 who actively denounce this president’s hateful rhetoric.
    Send a message: show up and vote, and stand for better a better America on Nov. 6 — and for candidates who do not breed fear, use hate, and sow division amongst races and people. Hate speech has consequences, like pipe bombs sent to Democrats and massacres.

    Read more:…/jewish-doctor-asked-synagogue…/

    • Mary Cookman Schmerker SHS '58

      Thank you Kristan. I read this first thing this morning and have checked out the links. Yes, words do matter.