The Jewish community in Montreal is organizing several vigils in solidarity with the victims of the deadly shooting that took place at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday, killing 11 people and injuring six.
On Sunday, several Jewish groups converged in front of Montreal’s Holocaust Museum. Organizers called it an an act of mourning and a demonstration against the rise of racism.
“Not only the Jewish community, but communities all over Montreal – the Muslim community and different people from different communities are ready to stand up against hate rather than give in to this narrative of hatred,” said vigil co-organizer Sam Hersh of Independent Jewish Voices Canada.
Speakers during the event included Jewish and Muslim community leaders.
“Our message is that an injury to one is an injury to us all,” said Hersh. “If there is discrimination against one marginalized group, it’s up to other groups to stand up in solidarity and say we’re not going to take it and you shouldn’t either.”
For members of the Muslim community, many of whom attended the vigil, the tragedy at the Pennsylvania synagogue has brought back painful memories.
“We have passed through this in Quebec City just a couple years ago and we know how hard this is and to lose innocent lives for no reason whatsoever, no guilt whatsoever, only because of their faith, during the most peaceful time – during prayer time,” said Samer Majzoub, Canadian Muslim Forum President.
Jewish non-profit organizations Federation CJA and CIJA-Québec have plans to hold a vigil on Monday at the Beth Israel Beth Aaron Congregation in Côte Saint-Luc.
“We express our profound sorrow and solidarity with Pittsburgh in (the) aftermath of this horrific tragedy,” Federation CJA wrote on a social media post.
WATCH: Vigils held for Pittsburgh synagogue shooting
No imminent threat to Montreal
Benoit Boisselle, a spokesperson for the Montreal Police Service, told Global News there is no imminent threat in Montreal but that police are being “extra vigilant.”
At every police station whose jurisdiction includes a synagogue, commanders sent out a letter offering police support to the community.
“Although we are not aware of any indirect or direct threats in our jurisdiction at this time, we wish to inform you that our patrol officers are vigilant and available,” the letter read. “Rest assured that surveillance has been increased around Montreal synagogues, and for any unusual and disturbing situation, we urge your community to call 911.”
Boisselle said that although Montreal police won’t increase the number of officers on duty, they will increase patrolling around synagogues.
With files from Felicia Parrillo