We will not stand for racial hatred, Burnham tells vigil

TRIBUTE: Candles are carried at the vigil to remember the 11 worshippers who were gunned down when a gunman broke into a Pittsburgh synagogue on Shabbat

A CROSS-COMMUNAL candlelight vigil took place on Wednesday night to honour the memory of those massacred in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.

It was held at Shaare Sedek Synagogue in Hale and was organised by its minister, Rabbi Amir Ellituv, in conjunction with other local rabbis.

More than 300 people heard from a number of guest speakers, including Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Manchester, Manchester Jewish Representative Council president Sharon Bannister, CST northern regional director Amanda Bomsztyk and Greater Manchester Police Deputy Chief Constable Ian Hopkins.

Mr Burnham spoke about not tolerating racial hatred of any kind and said that people needed to stand together to oppose it.

And, he added, as the people of Manchester had last year experienced their own tragedy, they could empathise with the events in Pittsburgh.

Mr Burnham said he had also been in contact with the Mayor of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto.

Rabbis Joel Portnoy, Shlomo Ellituv, Amir Ellituv and Chanan Atlas recited psalms, while Chazan Michael Isdale, of South Manchester Synagogue, Bowdon, recited El Malei Rachamim.

Other guests included the Mayor of Trafford, Tom Ross, and Robina Shah, the High Sheriff for Greater Manchester.

Shaare Sedek president Anthony Sultan said: “It was important to identify with the tragedy, but it was not just about showing sympathy — it was a message to the wider community about how we should each stand up and not accept racism.”

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