Vigil services are being held throughout the Tampa Bay area this week to honor the 11 people killed at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27.
In Hillsborough County, two memorial services will take place Monday evening. One of the services is being held at The Congregation Rodeph Sholom.
“The purpose of this vigil is that when tragedies occur, when hearts are broken, when fears are realized, the only solution is to come together with a community and grieve together and cry together and look for a way forward together,” said Rabbi Josh Hearshen. “We will memorialize the lives that were viciously and tragically lost and we will work together to find some inspiration together as a community to move forward.”
The vigil will begin at 7 p.m. on Bayshore Blvd. in Tampa. Entry is free and Mayor Bob Buckhorn is expected to speak at the event.
University of South Florida Hillel will also be hosting a community vigil at the Tampa campus Monday evening. Provost Ralph Wilcox and Rabbi Ed Rosenthal are expected to speak at the service. Security will be present at the event. The public can find more information on USF Hillel’s Facebook page.
In Sarasota, The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee will be honoring the victims at 7 p.m. in the Larry Greenspon Family Campus for Jewish Life. There will be increased security at the event and hosts are requiring that attendees register.
The Jewish Federation of Pinellas and Pasco Counties will be holding the “ONE God-ONE Voice: Interfaith Memorial Vigil” on Thursday evening in St. Petersburg. The event is open to anyone regardless of religious background as a way to show unity.
“[We’re] standing in solidarity for an end to violence and hate,” said Lucé Piccin, The Jewish Federation spokesman, when describing the purpose of the event.
The St. Petersburg memorial service will begin at 7:30 p.m. The event is free. No bags will be allowed inside except for small purses. More information can be found on their Facebook page.