Congregation Mickve Israel leaders say they refuse to let hatred deter their celebration of diversity at Sunday’s Shalom Y’all Jewish Festival, just a few hours after a man shot and killed multiple people at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
“We are praying for those in Pittsburgh,” said Bubba Rosenthal, president of Congregation Mickve Israel which hosts the festival. “This not only an affront to the Jewish community but an affront to anyone who loves freedom and religious diversity. We will not let this affect us. We will preserve and continue.”
Police say around 1 p.m. Saturday, Robert Bowers opened fire during a baby naming ceremony Saturday morning at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood, according to the Associated Press.
Bowers was in his 40s, according to a law enforcement official.
Pittsburg officials said at least 10 people were killed and six others, including four police officers, were injured. The shooting is being investigated as federal hate crime, according to the AP.
The synagogue is located about 10 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh in a neighborhood that is the hub of Pittsburgh’s Jewish community.
Savannah organizers say they won't let the act of violence keep them from engaging with the community.
Congregation Mickve Israel is slated to hosts the 30th annual food festival from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday in Monterey Square. The event is free to attend.
“We will be having the festival,” Rosenthal said. “ There will be additional security. We already have security ever year but we added more. We will not let an anti-Semite affect what we are doing in our community. We encourage people to come out.”