Black Christian Leaders Pray for Unity, Healing, & Justice Alongside Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh

It’s time for Pittsburghers to shed their reputation for avoiding crossing rivers and bridges, several religious and community leaders said Monday night in the city’s Hill District.

“We need to and must cross more bridges,” said Brian Magee, CEO of Pump, a Downtown-based nonprofit that runs the Pittsburgh Sports League and works with more than 30,000 people under the age of 40 in civic and community programs.

“To the Jewish community: We love you, we love you, we stand with you. You are our neighbors. We will work tirelessly alongside you to build bridges and eradicate hate from our communities.”

More than two dozen people representing a variety of faiths and groups — Jews, Christians, Muslims and community advocates — gathered in the historically black Pittsburgh neighborhood to pray and promote unity and social justice following Saturday’s deadly attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill.

“We just got stronger, and we’ll continue bonding together,” said Richard A. Stewart Jr., president of the Pittsburgh chapter of the NAACP. “In other words, this is a common cause and a common goal. … This thing just made us stronger.”

Josh Sayles, spokesman for the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh, recited the names of the 11 people killed in the deadliest attack that targeted Jews in U.S. history.

“We’re here today to honor the memory of those 11 people who were killed simply because they were Jewish,” Sayles said alongside Tim Stevens, president of the Black Political Empowerment Project, which organized the gathering at Freedom Unlimited and the NAACP office in the Hill District. “… And of course we’re here to stand in solidarity and to let all who will listen know that anti-semitism, racism and bigotry will not be tolerated in our community.”

“On Saturday, it was a Jewish synagogue in Squirrel Hill. This tragedy … has happened in every one of our diverse communities, and that’s why it’s so important for us to stand here together today.”

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Source: Christian Post