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My Experience: Westborough Community Unites to Conquer Hate

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My Experience: Westborough Community Unites to Conquer Hate

Westborough Community Members gather at the Congregation B'Nai Shalom to remember the victims of the shooting at The Tree of Life Congregation.

Westborough Community Members gather at the Congregation B'Nai Shalom to remember the victims of the shooting at The Tree of Life Congregation.

Gabrielle Delgado

Westborough Community Members gather at the Congregation B'Nai Shalom to remember the victims of the shooting at The Tree of Life Congregation.

Gabrielle Delgado

Gabrielle Delgado

Westborough Community Members gather at the Congregation B'Nai Shalom to remember the victims of the shooting at The Tree of Life Congregation.

Gabrielle Delgado '19, Features Editor

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Squirrel Hill is a residential suburb lined with trees outside downtown Pittsburgh; it is also home to the Tree Of Life Congregation where no one was expecting to be at risk for their lives during a morning service on Saturday, October 28.  During a ceremony in this Pittsburgh synagogue, a man burst into the building and opened fire on the community. Eleven people were shot dead, and six others were left wounded.

This event left the country in a state of shock, and I was stunned as well.

As a member of the younger generation who has been progressive in its views and perspectives, I never thought this brutal display of Anti-Semitism could happen in our society today.”

— Gabrielle Delgado

As a member of the younger generation who has been progressive in its views and perspectives, I never thought this brutal display of Anti-Semitism could happen in our society today. Living miles and minds away from the families and community members who experienced their closed loved ones fall victim to this hate crime, I wasn’t sure how I could help. But when my dad told me there would be a service at the Congregation B’Nai Shalom that night where the community would come together to mourn and celebrate life, I knew I had to go. The plan was to park at Hastings Elementary, and walk together with members of the town over to the temple, then go inside and stand with the town and members of the temple.

When we pulled into the elementary school, I was in awe. Cars were packed into parking spots and approximately two hundred people were standing, huddled under umbrellas (it was downpouring). I was so inspired to see everyone united and in support of not only the town, but the Jewish community as well.

When all were gathered, we proceeded to walk over to the temple, our umbrellas colliding and canopying over one another like a blanket of protection. As we walked towards the church, I felt empowered, because there were so many people uniting for an important cause.  

Gabrielle Delgado

At the temple, my family and I were motioned to stand on the sides of the walkway inside. Then, members of the temple began to enter and greet us all. We handed them letters that the children of Hastings Elementary had written, offering their condolences and kindness. They took them with gratitude. It was wonderful to see people I knew in the town say hello to each other and thank them for being there.

 

Gabrielle Delgado

That evening we mourned the lives of those lost to the Anti-Semitic crimes that are ridden with cruelty and hate; we must surpass that hatred and move towards the future to better our world and shift our views and prejudices. It is amazing to me that I am able to speak my opinion and voice through journalism after experiencing such an event. I hope to share what is happening in our world and society with my peers and fellow members of the community, and to learn something as well. Walking towards that temple in silence, the rain pattering our umbrellas, the street lights making us glow, I felt a subtle strength, one that I knew our younger generation could grow and bring to life to make everlasting change

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My Experience: Westborough Community Unites to Conquer Hate