NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – In the days following the synagogue attack, a hashtag has gone viral online, inspiring solidarity.
It’s #ShowUpForShabbat, and asks all Americans to fight anti-Semitism.
Rabbis say they’re opening their doors to people of all faiths following the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, inviting Jews and non-Jews to show up for shabbat, and experience peace and joy on the sabbath.
“Across the country we are promoting that everyone should come and attend synagogue service, see what a synagogue is like,” said Rabbi Daniel Sherman.
The #ShowUpForShabbat movement was started by the American Jewish Committee soon after last Saturday’s attack in Pittsburgh, when an armed man stormed into the Tree of Life synagogue yelling antisemitic slurs and then shooting and killing 11 congregants.
The message is, though, there is no fear.
“To tell the anti-Semites out there you’re not going to defeat us you’re not going to divide us this thing has taken off like wildfire,” said American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris. “I can’t begin to tell you – Hollywood personalities, the political leaders, religious movements have taken this and re-tweeted it millions on millions of times.”
Religious leaders say whether you have attended synagogue before or not, everyone is encourage to take part in services Friday at sundown or Saturday morning at 9 a.m.
CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge spoke to Jews and non-Jews about the idea.
“I think there’s more people that support than don’t, and those are the people that need to come together,” said Upper West Side resident Meredith Soto. “It’s a great idea.”
“Learning different diversities, cultural beliefs, is always a wonderful thing, it helps you understand people,” said Upper West Side resident Pat Lucenti.
Rabbis say they can’t disclose new security strategies, but that they have been working with the NYPD to protect their synagogues.
“Will there be safety measures? Of course there will be, that just prudence. But I think the idea is that synagogues will always welcome people. The message is we’re all in this together,” said Harris.
The hope is that a show of solidarity will send the message that the attack was not just an assault on one community, but everyone.
Religious leaders say while they’re focusing on this week’s religious services, synagogues welcome guests year-round.