LIBERTY, Ohio (WKBN) – Members of the local Jewish community gathered at El Emeth Temple to watch a live stream from Pittsburgh’s WTAE News of the memorial service for the victims of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting exactly one year ago from today, Oct. 27.
At Sunday night’s gathering in Liberty was Andrew Lipkin, the executive vice president of the Youngstown Area Jewish Foundation. His daughter Rachel works for the Jewish Federation in Pittsburgh.
Lipkin was planning on visiting his daughter the day of the shooting in Pittsburgh, where 11 people were killed and seven injured during Shabbat morning services.
When Lipkin got the call about the massacre, his destination didn’t change, but his initial plans did.
“I wanted to be in Pittsburgh. I wanted to be where people were suffering, people were in shock. It was the place to be. I wanted to be with my family there,” Lipkin said.
Lipkin said a lot of people suffered from emotional trauma following the tragedy and that the impact will always be remembered.
“It’s a shock that will never ever go away. It may lessen someday, but it was very difficult,” he said.
Now, one year later, Lipkin fears the problem has gotten worse — not just in America, but all around the world.
“I would say that unfortunately, these acts of antisemitism and racism have continued, a year later… I would just say, racism of every nationality has gotten worse over the past year and it’s been getting worse over the past several years,” he said.
Lipkin said one way to stop racism from growing is by educating the youth.
“Well, I think a lot of it comes down to education and what children learn at home… Kids aren’t necessarily learning the values that they need to learn and unfortunately, they come in with prejudice and stereotypes and racism, antisemitism,” Lipkin said.
Oct. 27 has been declared “Remember Repair Together Day” in the city of Pittsburgh and across the state of Pennsylvania.