St. Louis area leaders of faith vow to stand against hate following mass shooting at synagogue

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO – A community vigil was held Sunday afternoon for those killed and injured at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

It was held at the Jewish Community Center in Creve Coeur.

Local faith leaders reacted to Saturday's mass shooting that left 11 people dead and six others injured, including three police officers.

Fox 2/News 11's Kelley Hoskins spoke with members of both the Jewish and Islamic faiths.

As security was heighten at various synagogues across the country, the Jewish Federation of St. Louis and the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis say they are horrified knowing that someone went in to a synagogue opened fired killing and injuring people.  They say their hearts and prayers go out to the victims’ families.

“How do we tell our children in a time when hate seems to be escalating,” said Rabbi Susan Talve.

After the word spread about the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday morning local religious leaders responded to  what  was likely the deadliest attack on the Jewish  community  in  the history of the United States.

“I’m feeling so vulnerable for any community that is feeling marginalized right now my community that is allowed to be demonized so people are given permission we are not sure about this motivation, but the hate is growing because the hate speech is being permitted,” said Rabbi Susan Talve.

The Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis say they will stand with the Jewish community as the nation mourns with Pittsburgh from coast to coast and say it important for all faiths to show their support.

“It's just a reminder that we have so much work to do as a country to overcome the hate that exist today,” said Nauman Wadalwala, Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis.

“People from all over the world come together in synagogues on Saturday morning to learn to pray to celebrate to grow joy,” said Talve.

“To know that people, husband’s, wives’, sons and daughters were going to a place of worship and not being able to return it tugs at your heart,” said Wadalwala.

Faith leaders in our area say they will join together to fight the dark forces against democracy and humanity.